keeping our local community safe

Rockhampton Station 12 new police recruits. Picture: Supplied

As a local member, and as a resident in Rockhampton myself, nothing is more important to me than keeping our local community safe.

It’s why Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga and I were absolutely delighted to welcome 12 new constables to Rockhampton, having graduated from the Police Academy.

They’ll be stationed at locations across the community, including South Rockhampton, North Rockhampton, and Yeppoon, and they’ll spend the next year being mentored by senior members of the police force to hone the skills they will need.

I want to congratulate those recruits for dedicating themselves to serving, protecting and safeguarding the Queensland community.

It is by no means an easy job, and we should all commend them for taking up the responsibility.

I also want to take this opportunity to explain the ways that our Government is currently attracting new recruits to the police force.

Currently, the Queensland Police Service is running its biggest ever police recruitment campaign across our state.

As part of the campaign, we’ve waived living costs for police recruits at police academies, the Government is providing a special cost of living boost to police recruit wages, and police recruits with bachelor’s degrees in relevant fields will be eligible to have $20,000 shaved off their HECS debt.

It’s about delivering 2,000 extra police personnel across Queensland, through the biggest investment in three decades.

We all know that the labour market is tight across a huge range of industries: hospitality, construction, and teaching, to name a few and policing is no different.

But our Government is absolutely committed to keeping our community safe, and that’s why we’re providing these new measures to make the Queensland Police Service one of the best organisations in the nation to work for.

This month, I think we would all also like to congratulate former Officer in Charge at Rockhampton Police Station, Inspector Darren Somerville, who was on Sunday awarded the Australian Police Medal for exemplary service, along with six other Queensland officers.

As a District Disaster Coordinator, I’m told that he has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in the response to bushfires, cyclones and the pandemic.

Officers like Inspector Somerville are at the forefront of what the Queensland Police Service means to Queenslanders protection, leadership and aid at the times we all need it most.

The leadership of officers like these is setting an excellent example for the new First Year Constables we’ve welcomed this year.

I wish them all the best in their career here in Rockhampton and Yeppoon.