Pressure is on for 24-hour policing

ANOTHER State MP has put pressure on the NSW Police Minister to honour his promise and meet with the community of Casino in regards to their urgent calls for 24-hour policing.

Opposition MP Steve Whan, formerly the Minister for Emergency Services, asked Police Minister Mike Gallacher last Thursday what he would do to meet calls from the Casino community for a 24-hour police station.

"Did the disgraced former parliamentary secretary for police and member for Clarence mislead voters of Clarence when he led them to believe that a Coalition government would virtually double the number of police in Clarence?" Mr Whan asked.

Mr Gallacher responded by referring to the statewide audit into police resources that was recently finalised.

He said the audit, conducted by former assistant commissioner Peter Parsons, had been handed to him.

But the report, which police, politicians and local governments have been eagerly awaiting since it was announced when the Coalition came into government this year, may not be released to the public.

"In terms of the release of the report, that will be a matter for the Government when it has had a full opportunity to consider it in consultation with the executive of the NSW police force," Mr Gallacher said in Parliament.

The recognition of Casino's predicament by Mr Whan follows comments made by another Opposition MP, Amanda Fazio, in Parliament on October 12.

Ms Fazio asked Mr Gallacher why, after six months, he had still not met with Richmond Valley Council (RVC) following their petition of more than 2000 signatures for 24-hour policing in Casino.

Calls for the Minister's presence on the Northern Rivers may have finally been heard, with rumours circulating that he will meet with Richmond Valley Council soon.

The Northern Star understands the Minister will visit the Clarence electorate before the Clarence by-election on November 19.

Mr Gallacher's media advisor did not return calls from The Northern Star yesterday.

Richmond Valley Mayor Col Sullivan said Mr Gallacher's political answers were not answers to the problems Casino had.

"It's good the people are putting pressure on the Minister irrespective of where they come from," he said.

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