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Thursday, 11 May 2017
Page: 115


Mr VASTA (Bonner) (12:23): Today I would like to speak on crime, an issue of growing concern in my electorate of Bonner. I have been receiving a fair amount of feedback from my constituents on local crime and safety. It is a particularly vital issue for residents in the Gumdale-Wakerley area. I would like to update the House on what I have been doing to address reports of crime in and around the suburbs and how locals can get involved to help tackle this problem. Crime in the community can have a devastating impact, and I am not just talking about financial losses. Crime can also take a significant mental toll on its victims. Recently I heard from a constituent who lived in Wakerley for over 35 years. She told me that she used to be able to walk about in the neighbourhood without fear; but now, she says, most nights she is too afraid to go out alone. Her story and others like it have really touched me. It is important to feel safe and secure in our own homes and our own neighbourhoods. That is why this month I am launching a new campaign to identify crime and safety hotspots in the Gumdale-Wakerley area. This campaign will also give residents an opportunity to discuss crime with local law enforcement.

Earlier this month, I sent out a community safety survey to residents in the Gumdale-Wakerley area. This survey is helping me gauge how people feel about local crime levels, and how safe they feel in their community. It is also letting me know people's personal experiences with crime and their thoughts on the level of police protection in the area. I thank my constituents who have taken the time to complete and return my community safety survey. I have already had lots of great feedback and suggestions on what actions would be most helpful in alleviating crime in and around the Gumdale-Wakerley area.

Recently, I met with officers from the Wynnum Manly police station to discuss residents' concerns and a range of possible measures to reduce and deter crime in the Gumdale-Wakerley area. Since that meeting, Acting Senior Sergeant Carolyn Cox has graciously agreed to join me for a Coffee With a Cop event at Gloria Jeans Mayfair Village in Manly West next month. On Saturday 3 June from 10 o'clock to 11 o'clock, locals will be able to sit down with Sergeant Cox and Senior Constable Sharon Collins to share their thoughts on crime in the area, and they can ask any questions they may have on this important issue.

I am proud to be the sponsor of this neighbourhood safety initiative, and I thank local police and residents for their help in getting this crime campaign off the ground. I look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders to ensure that everyone in our community is kept safe from crime.