Australia — A CRIME supercentre will be built in Melbourne to house Victoria’s best police investigators as part of a $400 million law-and-order package to be announced by the Brumby Government in Tuesday’s State Budget.
The $98.1 million elite police unit will be home to crime experts including the Homicide Squad, Sexual Crime Unit, Fraud Squad and the Purana taskforce, responsible for investigating Melbourne’s gangland killings.
St Kilda Rd police station and the Flinders St police office will be closed and almost all existing staff from Victoria Police headquarters at the World Trade Centre moved to make way for the new city crime fighting headquarters.
Victoria Police will begin looking for a site for the supercentre next week and it will be built within four years.
In a key pitch to frontline police, the Government is also expected to announce a $7.4 million pledge to fund covert recording systems, a police air wing video downlink system, bomb X-ray unit and new water police vessels.
Police Minister Bob Cameron said the Budget would have a strong public order focus including the single biggest boost to frontline police numbers in the state’s history.
“The police that will benefit from this police building boost perform some of the most vital crime and intelligence work in the state and the Government is making sure they have the resources they need to keep protecting the state,” he said.
More than $143 million will be set aside for more staff and infrastructure in Victoria’s prison system.
The Government will pledge $45 million to increase the capacity of men’s jails by 84 beds and $98.1 million over four years to add 18 beds to the Tarrengower women’s prison and 141 new beds to the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre.
More than $120 million will be spent on bushfire preparation including $9.2 million to employ 18 new Country Fire Authority staff in the next four years to train local brigades.
Other bushfire spending expected to be announced includes $3.1 million for an information line and $28.5 million to upgrade and improve warning , intelligence gathering and alerting systems by fire and emergency agencies.