Budget funds final piece in Gunnedah's new police station

A DATE has been set for the long-promised new Gunnedah police station.

In Tuesday’s budget, Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson announced $4.5 million to complete a major $5.5 million upgrade of the station by mid-next year.

The government made an election promise in 2015 for the upgrade, after a community push to increase police numbers in the shire.

A total of $1.8 million was allocated for the project in last year’s budget, so securing the funding to complete the project is welcomed news.

Construction on the existing site is scheduled to commence in the new financial year, with practical completion due in 2018.

The station will become operational shortly thereafter.

Police minister Troy Grant said the new state-of-the-art facility will improve the capabilities of police in the Oxley Local Area Command.

“The upgraded Gunnedah Police Station will offer local police some of the newest technology to assist them in preventing and disrupting crime,” he said.

“The funding allocated in this year’s budget marks a very important step towards the delivery of our 2015 election commitment to upgrade the station, which was built in the early 1960s.

“I commend the unwavering advocacy of Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson, who has worked closely with local police to get this project off the ground.”

Mr Anderson said with a more spacious working environment for officers and the latest crime-fighting tools and resources, the project promised to become one of the most advanced policing facilities in NSW.

“They cover a lot of ground, and investigate markedly different crimes to officers in the city and this new station will provide them with a huge morale boost,” he said.

Meanwhile, the budget also included the “continued redevelopment of Gunnedah Hospital”, but Mr Anderson wouldn’t be drawn on his plans or the dollar figure for the project.

“There’s always work to be done,” he said. “Money for our region doesn’t just come once a year in the budget.”