Photo taken at Aurukun in December 2015, where I was pleased to meet up with Mayor Dereck Walpo and councillors at the opening of council's new restaurant, Pikkuuws
Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch has welcomed the news that all three levels of Government have united to fund the $1.3 million installation of a new CCTV security camera system in Aurukun.
The signing off on the agreement between the Queensland Government and the Federal Government before Councils go into caretaker mode ahead of the March election will ensure this project is delivered for the town.
“The sign-off means works could start almost immediately and should be completed within 23 weeks,” Mr Entsch said.
“That includes the necessary infrastructure works including additional line cabling and the installation of camera poles, to support the expansion of the current system.
“Cameras will now feature live time footage which will be monitored by the Community Police and go a long way in helping the police to reduce crime.”
Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Curtis Pitt said that when he visited Aurukun in November last year he made a commitment to look at ways to increase community safety measures for residents of Aurukun, including the need for more security cameras.
“This new security system will deliver the latest in security technology and has been customised to address Aurukun’s unique geographical issues as well as the safety needs of community members.
“Crime prevention, increasing community safety and a focus on social harmony by reducing crime, social dysfunction and the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders in the criminal justice system remains a key priority for the Queensland Government.”
Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator Nigel Scullion, said he was pleased to work with Minister Pitt and Aurukun Shire Council to have the CCTV cameras installed in Aurukun.
“These cameras will play an important role in helping to make Aurukun safer, particularly for women and children,” Mr Scullion said.
“I will continue to monitor this issue closely to ensure alcohol-fuelled violence is stamped out in Aurukun.”
Police Minister Bill Byrne said the new system would greatly assist in maintaining community safety and re-establishing local authority by recording the causes of community disturbances within the Aurukun Township.
“As the project progresses, cameras will come online progressively with the first cameras to go live at about 10 weeks into the project,” said Mr Byrne.
“The Queensland Government is determined to make a difference and ensure we take a holistic, coordinated and collaborative approach for better outcomes for these communities.”
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said the installation of CCTV security cameras is just one of many safety measures designed to promote crime prevention and improve safety for all Aurukun residents.
“A CCTV system alone will not stop crime but it should help to substantially reduce the current levels of anti-social activity,” Mr de Brenni said.
“We will be meeting with local leaders today to hear their ideas and take those suggestions back to our departments to identify what can be actioned.”
Aurukun Shire Council Mayor Dereck Walpo said the Queensland Police Service, the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet had all been supportive of installing CCTV in Aurukun.
“Due to ongoing community unrest and associated anti-social behaviour in Aurukun, all stakeholders have pledged to make it a priority project,” he said.
“This has included two separate visits to Palm Island to inspect their elaborate CCTV system, and to discuss CCTV with Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council and Queensland Police Service.
“It is worth noting that Palm Island has had a significant decrease in crime since their installation of CCTV.”