I’ve heard the frustration of local communities when decisions that affect them are made in Sydney’s Macquarie Street without consultation. People living in the community know what they need to make the greatest difference and that is why we want to hear directly from them. That’s why last week I announced community consultation on how we should spend our new $10 million Community Safety Fund.
Communities across NSW will be able to access up to $250,000 each to tackle antisocial behaviour. This is an opportunity for innovative crime prevention that sits outside the square of common practice. It’s an opportunity to build technology that communities cannot usually afford, such as CCTV in regional areas. These funds will go to non-government or not-for-profit organisations, community groups and chambers of commerce to enhance safety throughout the state.
We want localised solutions and investment and we should do everything we can to make NSW a safer place to live. From this month, my Parliamentary Secretary, the Member for Orange Andrew Gee, will be consulting with communities and listening to their proposals. Consultation will occur throughout our towns and our suburbs with local community and business groups to discuss crime-fighting projects best suited for local needs.
Our Government is proud to invest in community-led initiatives such as CCTV, campaigns to reduce stealing from motor vehicles, funding for improvements such as fencing or lighting and other measures to reduce anti-social and criminal behaviour.
We want the community to tell us what they want and we will listen. We are proud of our Community Safety Fund and how it will complement the work we are already doing to stamp out anti-social behaviour and fight crime. We want communities to be proud of their streets and neighbourhoods and we are working to achieve this by providing the services and support they need and deserve.
Our Government is delivering important crime and justice reforms and services to make NSW a safer place to live and I am delighted as Minister for Justice and Police to be a strong driver of this. I urge the community to take this opportunity to put forward their initiatives for consideration under this valuable program.
Last week, we also celebrated the 100th year since women could be sworn into the NSW Police Force. More than 600 female staff, sworn and unsworn, marched from Hyde Park to the Opera House. Every day they put their lives on the line to protect their community and do so with compassion, courage and strength.