AS the “Swedish Sauna House” debacle of the new Tea Gardens Police Station upgrade continues to play out across the harbour from Port Stephens, plans have been revealed for the Lemon Tree Passage’s new Police Station and locals are less than impressed.
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The promised $1.5 million dollar relocation of the Cook Parade quarters was announced during last year’s state election that included a planned period of community consultation to find a site that best fits the needs of the area.
What the people of the Tilligerry Peninsula look set to inherit instead will be their own wooden sauna box similar to the self-contained unit in Tea Gardens.
Without any community consultation the NSW Government has bypassed local wishes to have the station built in RAF Park on vacant land and will demolish an existing property near Lemon Tree Passage Library.
Port Stephens MP Kate Washington said that the whole process has been a shambles and that the local community have been ignored throughout the planned upgrade.
“Every step of this wasteful police station program has been bungled, despite promises to consult with the community the government didn’t speak with anyone, not even the police,” said Ms Washington.
“It’s extraordinary that an existing house on a sloping block will be bulldozed and replaced by another Swedish sauna demountable box and to make matters worse the ramp and carport will be larger than the station itself.
“The Minister needs to front up and explain how this has gone so horribly wrong.”
Doreen Bradley OAM has been championing the local community for over 50 years for upgraded emergency services and is bitterly disappointed at the end result.
“I saw the plans and I thought no, I can’t stand this, I have to say something,” said Ms Bradley,
“Why would you buy this house just to knock it down? They promised me the police station would be at RAF Park!
“Considering all the work we have done as a community they should have included us in the decision but we didn’t know anything about it.
By Mitch LEES