LISMORE GETS ITS COP SHOP
By ZOE SATHERLEY
LISMORE will have a new $14.5 million police station by 2008.
After more than 20 years of lobbying, the State Government has finally allocated funds to begin work on the facility.
Tenders will be called in April and construction will start in June, Police Minister Carl Scully said yesterday.
A development application would be lodged with the Lismore City Council next month, Mr Scully said.
He said the new police station was part of a $200 million overhaul of 27 NSW Police properties to be undertaken over the next five years.
Mr Scully said the cost of the new Lismore police station included the land pur- chase cost. Some existing police buildings will be demolished.
Richmond Local Area Command Superintendent Bruce Lyons yesterday paid tribute to former Superintendent Barry Audsley's long fight to get a new station for Lismore.
"He really fought hard to get this facility," Supt Lyons said.
"We are very pleased and very excited by the news.
"The police and the public will have a first-class facility with four times more room than we presently have.
"We will now be able to bring back police officers who are currently scattered in outlying offices to the one central building.
"This will improve communication and morale."
State Member for Lismore Thomas George said the new station was 'a big win for Lismore' which 'further cements its position as the regional hub'.
"This is something that has been on the agenda for 20 years," Mr George said.
"Anyone who has been to the Lismore police station knows how desperate the situation is down there.
"Now with a better work facility on the way we can expect the whole structure and management of our local police force will improve.
"That can only lead to better policing for the citizens of Lismore and surrounding areas."
Lismore mayor Merv King said he was delighted with the news.
"I haven't seen any plans yet, so you're ahead of me," he said. "The old station is a real rabbit warren and very inadequate for the needs of modern policing."