NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian came to Tea Gardens last Friday, armed with a $1,000,000 to spend on the local police station.
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News of her impending visit had spread quickly through the community and more than a hundred locals had gathered outside the station on Marine Drive to hear what the Premier had to say.
“I’m so pleased to be here,” the Premier said.
“As I announced a few days ago, we have a record budget for police this year and because of that I’m pleased to say there will be a $1,000,000 upgrade of Tea Gardens Police station.”
She went on to say, “The Police are the pillars of our society and it’s our job as a Government to support them.”
Craig Jackson, Superintendent for Port Stephens and the Hunter told News Of The Area, “The money will be very welcome and very well spent here at Tea Gardens for an upgrade to the Police Station.”
However, the decision on how the money will be spent is still to be made.
“It gives us a few options and what that looks like we’re not sure, but it’s a win for local police and a win for the community,” Superintendent Jackson said.
When asked whether it would be going to increasing police numbers, the Commander said, “It won’t, that’s a whole different conversation for another time, but I can say the rumours from last year that the station would close or numbers reduced, those rumours are now dispelled.”
State MP for Port Stephens Kate Washington, who was at last year’s rally to save the station said, “Above and beyond refurbishing police facilities, the local community is keen to see more police assigned to the Local Area Command so that incidents can be attended to quickly, and so our current officers have the support they need to do their jobs.’’
After her announcement outside the Tea Gardens Police station, Premier Berejiklian said she would be happy to answer questions after taking a tour of the station itself.
But the rains came and she didn’t return to those braving the weather outside.
The Premier left by the back door, heading off to Raymond Terrace for an awards ceremony leaving many in the crowd disappointed that their questions had gone unanswered.
By Margie TIERNEY