The WA Government’s State Budget demonstrates a strong commitment to community and road safety by delivering more police, boosting frontline policing resources, and new measures to save lives on Western Australian roads.
The increased Police budget of $1.53 billion in 2017-18 honours the Government’s pledge to deliver better policing services for Western Australians and improve road safety, while being financially responsible.
Tackling the State’s meth scourge is a key priority and a major commitment of $83.5 million is being invested in policing as part of the State Government’s Methamphetamine Action Plan.
A total of 100 additional police officers and 20 police staff will be recruited for the Meth Border Force which will boost police efforts to intercept the movement of meth into and within the State and target criminal syndicates trafficking meth.
Funding has also been provided to improve community access to police.
A total of $6.76 million is allocated for staff and building upgrades to support 24/7 operations at Armadale, Ellenbrook and Cockburn police stations and extend station opening hours at Forrestfield, Belmont and Canning Vale.
This Budget also delivers on the Government’s commitment to build a new police station at Capel with the allocation of $8 million, as well as funding for the Armadale Courthouse and Police Complex.
The attraction and retention of police officers in regional communities will also be supported through funding of $8.8 million for the regional police incentive scheme.
The Government has also invested funding to make sure Western Australia’s Police Force is equipped with up-to-date communications systems to support police operations.
A total of $31.8 million has been allocated to the Community Safety Network for ongoing maintenance, site and support contract costs and a further $13.3 million has been allocated to convert remaining analogue radio sites to comply with the Federal Government’s radio frequency requirements.
These improvements will address communications black spots in some regional areas and fringe metropolitan locations, and provide new radio frequency range across the Kimberley, Pilbara, Mid-West, Gascoyne and Goldfields districts.
The Government is delivering on its commitment to reduce road trauma, with significant investment in road safety.
This disproportionately high road trauma in Western Australian country areas is being addressed by allocating $18.5 million to recruit and establish the Regional Enforcement Unit. This unit of 25 officers will provide a highly visual policing presence on regional roads.
A total of $119 million from the Road Trauma Trust Account (RTTA) will fund education, enforcement and road improvements to improve safety. The RTTA comprises revenue received from speed and red light camera fines.
A total of $50 million from the RTTA will fund road improvements including $18 million for shoulder sealing and rumble strips to reduce run off road crashes on regional roads, $17.2 million for safety upgrades and improvements to Toodyay Road and $10 million for safety upgrades at priority metropolitan intersections.
Educating road users to use roads safely is a vital part of a shared responsibility for improving road safety.
A total of $12 million from the RTTA will fund road safety and driver education and support initiatives including campaigns, events, school education, local community activities and trauma counselling.
Funding of $3.8 million is being provided for driver drug and alcohol testing to bring WA in line with leading national best practice for roadside testing.
A total of $930,000 has been provided to enable police to carry out blood testing from drivers involved in crashes causing death or serious injury.
For more 2017-18 State Budget information, visit http://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au
Source: Government of Western Australia.