Tilligerry residents seek answers over new Police station Port Stephens Port Stephens News by News Of The Area - Modern Media - July 8, 2021 The existing rented site in LTP. CONCERNED Tilligerry residents can’t fathom how their new police station came to be sited on the side of a hill in Lemon Tree Passage, rather than adjoining the existing emergency services facilities at Tanilba Bay. To understand the community’s frustration and anger, we turn to Doreen Bradley OAM, a 50-year campaigner on local policing issues. “Over the years we have had numerous community meetings with senior police and government representatives,” she said. “It was our understanding that a new station would be built on site beside our ambulance and fire stations at Tanilba Bay,” she stated. “If anybody suggested that the government would buy an old house in Lemon Tree Passage, demolish it and dump a prefabricated ‘dog box’ off the back of a truck on the site, they would have been run out of town!” she added. Doreen suggested that NSW Police owed the local community a debt of gratitude for their collaboration on local policing issues over the years, a relationship which she says helped reduce instances of crime. “The police service owes us just so much for making their system work. “You see, a small group of locals campaigned to have the Port Stephens Command hived off the centralized command based in Maitland,” she said. “This old structure had locals ringing police for emergencies and being ‘prioritized’. “Sometimes they would wait a day or so for a car to come from Maitland. “Crime exploded out here and ‘A Current Affair’ was in town twice covering the story,” she remarked. Port Stephens Councillor Steve Tucker, a member of the Crime Forum, is also bewildered by the siting of the new station. He claims the current situation was created by a lack of consultation with both the community and Port Stephens Shire Council. “Had the Police Property Section sat down with us we would have explained to them how the transfer of land in RAF Park could have been ‘fast tracked’ or leased to them until all the necessary procedures had been followed. “This didn’t happen and they have only themselves to blame for getting the residents off side,” he stated. “At least now we have a better working environment for our officers but it falls far short of our expectations,” he concluded. By Geoff WALKER The new police station, ready to open.