Victoria Police Bands
Last week I was pleased to join with many others in Ballarat’s Bridge Mall to enjoy a performance by the Victoria Police band. Performances by this very professional band have been enjoyed by many residents in the Ballarat region on many occasions over the years, and it is extremely disappointing to learn that the Napthine government has determined to disband the police bands. Not only have the bands provided high-quality entertainment at school fetes and numerous other community events but they have also assisted many charities to raise funds.
These bands have been great ambassadors for the police. The reason given for disbanding the bands is to put more police on the beat. The reality is that the Napthine government has made a substantial cut to the police budget and is sacking over 100 police staff who are not performing front-line duties.
This will only see more police taken from the beat to undertake the paperwork duties previously carried out by the now redundant clerical staff. The axing of the police bands is a further example of staff sackings which will not result in any more police serving in front-line duties. Present band members are not operational police officers, and they will either be forced out of the police force altogether or moved into administrative roles for which they have no training, and their musical talents will be lost. The Napthine government should not be axing the police bands, which clearly provide a great community benefit. Instead this government should be committing funding to the police to seriously — —
The SPEAKER — Order! The member’s time has expired.