Media Release

21 August 2018

O’Donohue: Liberal Nationals to bring Protective Services Officers to Traralgon Bus exchange

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Liberal Nationals to bring Protective Services Officers to Traralgon Bus exchange

A Matthew Guy Liberal Nationals Government will introduce Protective Services Officers (PSOs) to patrol the taxi and bus exchange in Traralgon.

The Liberal Nationals election commitment is for a 7 day a week PSO presence from 10am until 6pm with extra coverage on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights until 2am – the time of day the Traralgon community believes PSOs are most needed.

The bus and taxi interchange on Franklin Street has become a hot spot for crime, with many recent shocking incidents of violence and anti-social behaviour.

Shadow Minister for Police, Edward O’Donohue MP, said the precinct had developed a reputation for being unsafe, leading to commuters and shoppers avoiding the area.

“People in Traralgon deserve to feel safe going about their daily lives. The introduction of PSO patrols at the exchange and the surrounding areas will ensure people feel safe again,” Mr O’Donohue said.

“Under Daniel Andrews, crime in Traralgon is up 13.5%, yet police numbers in the Latrobe Police Service Ares (PSA) are down 22.13 FTE in June 2018 compared to November 2014.”

“James Merlino previously compared PSOs as “plastic police,” but the Liberal Nationals respect the invaluable work that PSOs do in keeping our railway stations, courts and other precincts safe. Now is the right time to expand their role to other transport hubs and crime hot spots such as Franklin Street and surrounds” Mr O’Donohue said.

Liberal Candidate for Morwell, Dale Harriman, said the policy of expanding the role of PSOs, introduced by the previous Liberal Government, would make the community safer.

“We’ve seen the positive impact PSOs have had on public safety and perceptions of safety at train stations and now we need to address the crime and anti-social behaviour occurring at Traralgon taxi and bus interchange. I have been working with taxi services and local traders for the last six months and welcome the decision to support PSOs at the interchange,” Mr Harriman said.

Nationals Candidate for Morwell, Sheridan Bond, said she constantly hears from the Traralgon community that the current situation on Franklin Street has gotten out of hand.

“Commuters and shoppers alike regularly tell me they now avoid the area at the bus and taxi interchange as they feel unsafe. PSOs patrolling the area will make this area safer,” Ms Bond said.