I WAS disappointed to recently read in the media that the South Australian Police regional country review highlighting the future of the Kalangadoo Police Station has not yet been completed. I am acutely aware of the Covid-19 situation during the duration time of the Country Police Station review. The Country Policing Review commenced back in 2017. Covid-19 commenced in 2020. I commend Commissioner Stevens for the role he played as the State Co-ordinator for Covid-19. Mr Stevens did an outstanding job keeping all of us safe.
What does this mean for the Kalangadoo and district community?
The Kalangadoo community lost its permanent police member position some five years ago, describing it as a change in its operational delivery of policing services. Country policing is about the local police member connecting into the community; living in and being a part of the community; getting to know the locals and being the local’s go-to person when required. A significant position for local policing that cannot be underestimated.
Kalangadoo is an active and growing community with a strong football and netball club, bowls club, busy railway station museum, hotel, which is the heartbeat of the community (consisting of nine accommodations rooms and a RV camping area), two general stores, hairdressing salon, primary school, steel fabrication manufacturing business, large timber mill operation, CFS brigade station, farmers market, Wattle Range Council equipment depot, a growing tourism trade, Garden Centre, active Lions club and a robust agriculture primary production community.
Has anyone from the South Australia Police Country review project team actually visited Kalangadoo and spoken to the businesses and residents about the future of the police station and the potential removal of a permanent police member position and get their views? Surely that would be part of a review to consult with the community. If this has not happened, I invite Commissioner Stevens to ensure this happens and if the decision is to permanently close the police station, then at least inform the community of your decision. The community has lived with an empty and unmanned police station and a vacant government residence within the township without knowing what is happening. This vibrant community deserves better.
The information in this letter are my own personal thoughts and not those of the Wattle Range Council.
Mayoral Candidate for Wattle Range Council