December 2009: Despite strong community opposition, the WA Police Department has pushed ahead with its plan to close the Hilton Police Station and the Minister Robert Johnson has refused to intervene. Local residents will know what a circus this issue is. Both Labor and Liberal like to bang on about being "tough on crime" and "law and order". When in opposition both have said they would keep Hilton Police station open, but then changed their tune when in government.
I proposed a resolution which was passed by council, calling on the state government not to dispose of the building but to negotiate with us to keep it for community use. For example the building could be used as a base for an extension of the Noongar Patrol or some other community activity that would help us tackle the casues of crime and anti-social behaviour in a pro-active way.
A Police Department spokesperson quickly responded in the media that they were under no obligation to consult with anybody over the building's disposal. Frankly, given the Barnett government's attempts to shift a whole range of costs on to local councils, turning the building over to the local community would be small compensation.