Merger causing fear: PSA

At least one civilian administration job will be lost at Mudgee Police Station according to a draft restructure proposal, the Public Service Union (PSA) has said.

Acting PSA assistant general secretary Kym Ward said her meeting with some staff revealed a climate of anxiety and low morale.

Ms Ward said staff had seen a draft proposal for a merger between Orana and Mudgee Local Area Commands.

“There is a proposed restructure that is in a draft format floating around that shows at least one person will be “displaced”, for want of a better word,” she said.

“That document hasn’t been signed by the Minister and Commissioner of Police but they are still highly anxious.

“This has been dragging on for more than eight weeks now and still staff are basically none the wiser. We don’t know for sure but we understand an announcement is due in two or three weeks.”

Dubbo staff appear to have been spared from the axe, Ms Ward said, with no concerns among administration staff she had she had talked to from the Orana LAC.

She said it appeared Dubbo was the major centre in the merger, and said there was a similar situation with the Cootamundra and Wagga Wagga LACs.

“We haven’t had much fallout at Dubbo. The rumour mill suggests they [administration staff] are safe,” Ms Ward said.

“We are seeing a similar thing at Cootamundra, Wagga is the bigger station but the feeling at Cootamundra similar to Mudgee and there are similar issues in the Hunter.”

In a statement to the Daily Liberal on Thursday, Deputy Commissioner Regional Field Operations Gary Worboys said he understood there was concern about the changes but said it was important to take the time to consult and make correct decisions.

“It is clear each district has its own unique challenges, including crime trends, population density and growth, and community needs. As such it is important to ensure local decisions can be made at a local level by people who understand the needs of both the community and police,” Deputy Commissioner Worboys said.

“There are no plans change to the current service delivery. There is no plan to close any police station, or pull back from a 24-hour response where there currently is one, nor divert police away from the smaller communities.”

Police Minister Troy Grant echoed his statements in response to questions from the Daily Liberal.

Both stressed no decisions had been made but said there would be an announcement in coming weeks.

  • For more coverage on police re-engineering see page 9.