Posted on 28. Apr, 2010 in News

The Leader of the Opposition must stop deceiving Victorians and admit that he has no intention of delivering the police he has promised – but failed to adequately fund – earlier this year, the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Bob Cameron, said today.

Mr Cameron said the Leader of the Opposition had been caught out double-dipping to fund his law and order promises – revealing that he has no intention of delivering the police he has promised, and every intention of slashing police again.

“On Tuesday 6 April 2010, Mr Baillieu claimed he would fund $140 million of his police numbers pledge – 41 per cent or 651 police on his analysis – from the Victorian Government advertising budget,” Mr Cameron said.

“But on 10 November 2009 in MX Newspaper, Mr Baillieu had already said he would use money from the Victorian Government advertising budget to fund additional protective services officers at a cost of $200 million over four years.

“This is a clear case of double-dipping and shows Mr Baillieu has absolutely no intention of delivering his promised extra police and protective service officers.

“Mr Baillieu has never had to worry about where the money is coming from, but Victorians would certainly worry about him writing cheques he cannot cash,” Mr Cameron said. 

“The truth is that Mr Baillieu will never, ever deliver the police he promised. Instead he will do what he did when he was Liberal Party President in the 1990s – promise more police, but actually slash police numbers.”

Mr Cameron said Mr Baillieu’s fake promise was in stark contrast to the Brumby Labor Government, which today enshrined in the Budget its commitment to deliver 1,966 additional frontline police over the next five years.

“Today we announced 1,966 additional frontline police will be funded in the 2010 State Budget,” Mr Cameron said.

“Mr Baillieu’s police pledge is a funny money fake, funded from a magic pudding.”

Mr Cameron said the latest deceit from Mr Baillieu came on top of commitments the Liberal Party has made to scrap the funding source for 120 new police the Brumby Labor Government delivered to the Chief Commissioner this year to set up the new Operational Response Unit.

The Liberal Party said it would scrap new liquor licence fees which have provided the flexibility to fund the 120-strong Operational Response Unit (Michael O’Brien, 23 February, 2010).

“This has to be a world-wide political first – Mr Baillieu is cutting police numbers from Opposition,” Mr Cameron said. 

Mr Baillieu is now a massive 771 police short of his promise, showing he can’t be trusted to deliver when it comes to police and public safety. 

“Mr Baillieu can’t be trusted when it comes to promising police,” Mr Cameron said.

“When he was Liberal Party president, he promised Victorians 1000 extra and actually cut 800 from the force.”

Mr Cameron said Mr Baillieu’s lapdog Peter Ryan had even conceded in the Parliament this month that it was Labor who could be trusted to deliver when it came to the record on police.

“I accept what government members say. They have delivered on what they have said they would. They have even done a little bit more…I have no challenge to that.”

  • Peter Ryan, Hansard, Parliament of Victoria, 14 April 2010)

“What the Brumby Labor Government has committed to in the State Budget is the single biggest boost to police in Victoria’s history in a fully funded police package that will see more police rolled out onto the frontline starting this year,” Mr Cameron said.

“The Brumby Labor Government will put more police on the frontline faster, with a guarantee to the people of Victoria that it will be delivered – as it’s fully-funded in this year’s State Budget.

“Mr Baillieu’s Liberals are back to their old tricks of promising more police, when they really plan to slash numbers.”

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