Premier steps in to look over Ipswich comms centre closure
PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk has put a halt to the Queensland Police Service plan to close the Ipswich communications centre.
Stopping short of promising a reprieve for the 27 Yamanto staff, the Premier has instead ordered police Commissioner Ian Stewart to hold off on the move so that further consultation may occur.
The QPS confirmed that a "final decision" on whether to close the Ipswich facility was on hold, but that their position was still that centralisation was the best option.
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"The consolidation of police communications centres is a long-term strategy for the Queensland Police Service," the QPS statement said.
"However the Service accepts that prior to a final decision being made, it is in the best interests of all parties involved with the proposed consolidation of the Ipswich communications centre that all levels of government are satisfied with the benefits to the community."
The announcement has been welcomed by Police Union president Ian Leavers and Mayor Paul Pisasale - both of whom have been fierce in their criticism of Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller and what they say is her failure to advocate for the needs of people in her electorate.
Mr Leavers and Cr Pisasale said they believed Ms Palaszczuk was true to her word and they looked forward to explaining in detail why the Ipswich police communications centre should be upgraded, rather than shifted into Brisbane.
Central to the argument is the communications centre's partnership with Safe City.
"On the 18th of July Ms Palaszczuk, with the Police Minister, will be attending Ipswich to meet with myself and the Mayor Paul Pisasale and we are going to go through all this and see how well it works and how important it is for the city of Ipswich," Mr Leavers said.
"Let's say at this stage that common sense has prevailed, and I thank the Premier for intervening on this."
Cr Pisasale said the statistics showed why the communications room needed to stay in Ipswich.
In the 20 years since Safe City was introduced, the network has assisted police in making 23,000 arrests.
"We've reduced crime by 70%," he said.
"Safe City is a partnership between the police, community and council, and that's what works - that local knowledge and support."
Mr Leavers said a key point in the argument was the fact that the Ipswich communications centre had recently undergone about $1 million in upgrades last year.
"The system is now set up for the greater wireless network. Why spend that money if you are going to make it redundant?"
State Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said she also welcomed Ms Palaszczuk's intervention.
"This is clearly an important issue for our community," Ms Howard said.