Hon Rob Johnson JP MLA

Hon Rob Johnson JP MLA

Former Minister for Police; Road Safety

    State Budget 2011-12: Supporting our Community; Building the State (Police) - Massive boost to road safety and police enforcement to save lives on WA roads

    19/05/2011 12:00 AM

    WA Police will get two new breath and drug buses to enable the significant expansion of alcohol and drug enforcement operations in metropolitan and regional Western Australia.


    The funding is contained in a $1.18billion budget for WA Police for 2011-12 - a 9.7 per cent or $104.2million increase from last year’s State Budget.


    Police and Road Safety Minister Rob Johnson said the allocation of $2.1million to buy the buses, as well as $3.3million in the next four years to cover recurrent costs, fulfilled an election promise by the State Government.


    Mr Johnson said the funding, with the decision to quarantine 100 per cent of speed and red light camera revenue to the Road Trauma Trust Fund (RTTF) by July 2012, highlighted the State Government’s push to target spending to provide improved road safety for all West Australians.


    “This Budget clearly reaffirms the Government’s commitment to the 12-year Towards Zero road safety strategy,” he said.


    “Alcohol is one of the main causes of road trauma and drivers with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or above are seven times more likely to be involved in a crash.


    “The two new drug buses will allow WA Police to expand their current roadside testing from predominately alcohol testing to alcohol and drug testing.


    “It means greater traffic enforcement in regional WA, with police able to carry out large-scale alcohol and drug enforcement operations in country areas. This is not currently available with the older booze buses in the police fleet.”


    The Minister said the State Government had already flagged $50million in a five-year period towards the enhanced speed enforcement program in the 2010-11 Mid-Year Review to maintain the efficiency of WA Police’s speed enforcement and traffic infringement system.


    “Along with alcohol, speed is the other biggest factor in road trauma and it is essential that police have the most advanced systems to ensure motorists abide by the speed limit to save lives and reduce serious injuries on our roads,” he said.


    Mr Johnson said the State Government would provide $4million in 2011-12 to cover costs associated with the hoon and unlicensed driver legislation.


    “About 20 per cent of unlicensed drivers are involved in serious crashes in WA, posing a serious threat to themselves and other road users,” he said.


    “These motorists and hoon drivers put lives at risk and do not deserve to be on our roads.”


    The Minister said the State Government had allocated considerable funds to improve WA Police’s information technology (IT) systems which were inadequately funded by the previous Labor government.


    Mr Johnson said $68.4million would help maintain the WA Police’s information and communications technology infrastructure during the next four years, in addition to recurrent funding of $10million in the same period.


    “This funding will maintain reliable IT services, allowing officers to access critical and timely information while on patrol,” he said


    “It will also allow for the adoption of new digital evidence capture technologies, such as cameras within police vehicles, with a view to protecting frontline staff and the public.”


    The Minister said $53.6million in three years, as well as additional recurrent funding of $12million in the same period, would help improve WAPOL’s core business systems.


    “This funding will allow WA Police to implement a modern investigative case management system to support recently introduced investigative practice doctrine and provide a greater degree of quality control, supervision and search capacity,” he said.


    Through the State Government’s Royalties for Regions program, an allocation of $26.2million in recurrent funding during the next five years would help establish the new community safety network and replace the ageing police regional radio network.


    This is in addition to the $80.3million in capital funding already provided through State Government’s Royalties for Regions for the project. The new network will also be used by FESA and Corrective Services.


    Other highlights in the 2011-12 Budget include:


    ·           $25.6million for the new Western Suburbs Police Hub

    ·           $10million for a major upgrade to Curtin House in the CBD

    ·           $8million for a new police station in Mundijong

    ·           $40.8million towards the security operation for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.


    Minister's office - 9222 9211