Mr WELLS (Rowville) — This statement condemns the Andrews Labor government for its continued failure to support legislation to protect the dedicated and hardworking members of Victoria Police. The Andrews government recently demonstrated how out of touch it is in its priorities when, along with the Greens, the Liberal-Nationals proposed tough ramming of police cars legislation to better protect police. This was disgracefully voted down in this house, having passed in the other place.
Not only have we had over 230 deliberate rammings of police vehicles over the past two years, we now have the deeply concerning revelation that more than 100 drivers a week are evading police and failing to stop after being ordered to — up by over 52 per cent in just one year. In recent weeks there was another report of a ramming of a police car in Ballarat.
The high incidence of the deliberate ramming of police vehicles and evading police offences is putting the lives of police members and those of the general community at risk. As the secretary of Police Association Victoria, Wayne Gatt, recently put it in the Sunday Herald Sun online:
… drivers choosing to ignore police was becoming the norm, rather than the exception.
‘When respect for police is lost, the community’s most trusted layer of security and protection erodes …
It is simply not good enough to continue to dither, procrastinate and do nothing when police are exposed to risk and lives are on the line. Only the Liberal-Nationals have the immediate plan and solution to address the problems facing our police