Ballina MP Don Page says he is relieved to see the Ballina Police Station has received the much-needed works to rectify the structural deficiencies which led to the closure of the charge room and cell complex last year.
An OH&S risk assessment led to a direction from WorkCover that the charge room and cell complex at the Ballina Police Station be closed in April last year.
The rectification work was originally scheduled to take place in the 2011.
“When the facilities closed in June last year, Treasury were advising a three-year wait for funding to become available to rectify the situation,” Mr Page said.
“That was simply not acceptable. I raised the matter in Parliament and wrote to the Police Minister, which has led to the work being fast-tracked.
“Before the work was done, Ballina police officers were transporting offenders to Lismore to be charged and detained.
“This was taking up a lot of valuable time for officers who are already functioning with severely depleted numbers.
“The new charge room and cell complex means that Ballina police officers are able to provide more effective protection to the Ballina community.
“The officers themselves are not being put at risk due to fellow officers being absent for long periods of time to travel between Lismore and Ballina.
“The new facilities look fantastic. It is certainly making the work of Ballina police officers much safer and more efficient.
“I am happy that the NSW Treasury were able to find the funds necessary to fix what was an untenable and dangerous situation.”
PICTURE: Member for Ballina Don Page with Inspector Greg Moore at Ballina Police Station.