The State Government’s new public drunkenness laws will adversely impact police officers in rural
and regional areas, the Nationals Member for Northern Victoria Gaelle Broad has told Parliament.
Ms Broad said police had raised grave concerns about recent changes to the laws.
“As it stands, in rural and regional areas, police have no powers to deal with public drunkenness.
“Initially the Government said the police would not be involved in such cases, only to later suggest a
role as ‘second responders’.
“This lack of planning and confusion has left many puzzled about the practicality of these reforms.
“With the new sobering up centre in Collingwood, it is clear that the Government has prioritised
services in metropolitan Melbourne, and not given much thought to rural and regional areas.”
Ms Broad said the laws had already come into effect but professional support services were still to
open in regional areas.
“People living in rural and regional areas of all backgrounds deserve the same level of support as
people who live in Melbourne.”
Ms Broad said she was very concerned that the Police Association of Victoria had described the new
laws as “a tragedy waiting to happen”.
Ms Broad raised the issue in Parliament and asked the Minister for Police to outline what services are
available to police dealing with public drunkenness in Northern Victoria.
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