26th May, 2016
Rene Hidding, Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management
The Hodgman Liberal Government has got the Budget back on track and as a result we are able to reinvest in essential frontline services that will make Tasmania a safer place for everyone.
This Budget contains an extra $10 million to continue the election commitment to rebuild the police service through the employment of an extra 113 officers over the life of the government
The 2016-17 Budget includes $6 million invested over four years in refurbishing or replacing housing for police officers and their families stationed in remote and regional areas of Tasmania, starting with the West Coast.
Remote area policing is a critical role for Tasmania Police and police housing in good condition helps to attract and retain officers and their families to live and work in remote and country towns across Tasmania.
The Budget also includes a $2 million to upgrade major police buildings, including the Tasmania Police Academy, Launceston Police Headquarters and the Operations Support Building in Hobart
Police facilities must be well maintained and fit for purpose to ensure they continue to meet the needs of police and the Tasmanian community and are safe and functional.
The maritime capability of Tasmania Police will also be enhanced in the 2016-17 Budget, with $5.1 million next financial year for a new offshore police patrol vessel, this is in addition to $3.5 million allocated in 2015-16.
The builder, Fine Entry Marine, is finalising the plans and construction is expected to begin next month with the new vessel to be commissioned by 30 June 2017.
The PV Cape Wickham will be 23.95 metres in length and will have enhanced seakeeping capabilities over and above that of the PV Van Diemen. It will have the capacity to take Tasmania Police into some of the most treacherous seas in the world and up to 200 nautical miles out to sea.
The Government is also providing additional funds to the Department of Police Fire and Emergency Management to assist with offsetting the costs of the State Emergency Service (SES).
Responsibility for management and funding of the SES was transferred to the State Fire Commission in 2014‑15, and the allocation of $3.4 million over two years will support the valuable work of the SES whilst long-term sustainable funding options are determined.
This is a Budget that supports Tasmania’s emergency services, and reaffirms the Hodgman Liberal Government’s commitment to reinvest in our essential frontline services.