Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

New remote police stations in Western Australia

Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, today announced a $20 million agreement to build new police facilities in four Indigenous communities across Western Australia.

“The agreement will see new Multifunction Police Facilities built at Burringurrah (Gascoyne,) Looma (Kimberley) and Wingellina in the western desert, as well as visiting officers’ accommodation constructed at Bidyadanga in the Kimberley,” Minister Brough said.

“A permanent police presence in remote communities is essential to addressing these serious problems such as child abuse and family violence in remote Indigenous communities.

“The new police stations complement a range of other initiatives to ensure that women and children in particular are protected wherever they live and that they have confidence in the justice system.

“In order to support a range of responses to address violence and child abuse in Indigenous communities, the Howard Government has been prepared to commit funds in areas usually considered the responsibility of the States and Territories.

“While building policing infrastructure is normally the responsibility of state and territory governments, the Howard Government is committed to ending the heartbreaking cycle of child abuse and family violence, and recognises that additional help is needed.

“The Western Australian Government will also make a significant contribution by providing sworn officers to staff these new stations once they are built,” Minister Brough said.

The Howard Government has already contributed $1.9 million towards the construction of police multifunction centres and police accommodation in Western Australia, including contributing to police facilities in the Kimberley at Balgo, Warmun, Kalumburu and Jigalong in the Pilbara.

Snapshot: COAG National Indigenous Family Violence Summit initiatives

$130 million over 4 years to address Indigenous family violence in remote communities:

  • Strengthening law & order
    • $47m to build additional police stations and housing
    • National Intelligence Taskforce established to provide a coordinated approach to combating crime ($16.2m)
    • Additional drug detector dog units in Central Australia
  • Improving health & community safety
    • $49.3m towards additional drug and alcohol rehabilitation services
    • $3.4m to undertake comprehensive Indigenous child health checks in remote regions
    • Steps taken to reduce Kava use in Indigenous communities
    • National Student Attendance Unit established to improve school attendance and retention among Indigenous children.
  • Supporting victims of crime
    • $7.7m to establish safe places and support groups for victims
    • $4.4m to improve community support networks
  • Law reform and legal education
    • $4.3m to provide community legal education in affected communities
    • $0.5m towards additional Indigenous cultural awareness training for judges
    • Steps taken to remove customary law as a mitigating factor in sentencing.