Police minister ducks meeting

PRESSURE is mounting on the state Minister for Police Michael Gallacher to meet with Richmond Valley Council after being questioned about the meeting's delay in NSW Parliament.

The Northern Star previously reported Richmond Valley Council wrote to Mr Gallacher three times in the past six months requesting a meeting to discuss police staffing issues in Casino.

Council was informed a meeting would be set up once the statewide audit into police resources was finalised.

The audit has since been submitted to Mr Gallacher.

The Northern Star understands another letter was sent to Mr Gallacher more than a week ago reminding him of his agreement to meet with the council.

On October 12 in the NSW Legislative Council, Opposition MP Amanda Fazio asked Mr Gallacher why, after more than six months in office, he had failed to meet with representatives of Richmond Valley Council.

Far from answering the question, Mr Gallacher said the problem he had was the demand to see him was so "great".

"In my capacity as Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for the Hunter I will meet with local communities and will continue to do so," he said.

Richmond Valley Council Mayor Col Sullivan was not encouraged by Mr Gallacher's answer.

"I think the question was reasonable, but it was a very political answer," he said. "It has really said nothing."

Cr Sullivan said council would stop at nothing to get a meeting with the minister.

"We will not give up on this and we will keep ringing the minister's office and annoying him about (a meeting)," Cr Sullivan said.

"We will meet with him anywhere in the state. We have also hammered (Ballina MP Don Page) as the Local Government Minister.

"How long do we have to wait and how much more crime has to be committed?"



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