AS the saga of the “Swedish Sauna” of Tea Gardens continues Port Stephens MP Kate Washinston was joined by the NSW Shadow Minister for Police and Counter Terrorism, Lynda Voltz MP to launch a petition to have the debacle heard in State Parliment.
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Ms Washinton is urging all permanent residents as well as part-time residents and frequent visitors to get behind the push to have an official address of the costings and due processes at Macquarie Street.
“As we all know the community was promised a million dollar upgrade to their Police Station and what they got in return was a Swedish Sauna with no windows,” said Ms Washington.
“Rightly it’s been met with a lot of disgust by the community and the Police Association themselves who say it’s not fit for purpose.”
The petition will be posted out in a mailbox blitz to all residents in the LGA and will require 10,000 signatories.
Ms Voltz conceded that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of return on the promised $1 million upgrade and there needs to be more transparency around the processes that brought the satellite station to Tea Gardens.
“This was not what the community was promised and it was not what they were shown,” said Ms Voltz.
“If you were going to spend that amount of money you’d get it right the first time and you wouldn’t have something that’s smaller than the existing premises you already had.”
“In some towns it’s perfectly fine to have a small satellite station for one officer but for an area like Tea Gardens that is so large and is a popular tourist destination it is not a suitable outcome.”
Local resident Gordon Grainger from the Myall River Action Group said with the amount of money spent a new site should have been found and the existing historical CourtHouse premises preserved untouched.
“It would have been beneficial for the Police Station to be moved to a central location so the community could utilise the historical site for a cultural hub,” said Mr Grainger.
“The site as it is now is not only an eyesore, it fails to address the areas needs.”
By Mitch LEES