Labor cut this public safety program by 85 percent

SLASHED: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk cut funding to Queensland's Neighbourhood Watch program. FILE PHOTO
SLASHED: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk cut funding to Queensland's Neighbourhood Watch program. FILE PHOTO Liam Kidston

NEIGHBOURHOOD Watch groups will have to fund their own activities after the State Government cut the organisation's budget by 85 per cent.

The move will mean the amount of money spent on promotional material, signage and training will drop from $500,000 to $75,000.

Nanango MP and LNP Leader Deb Frecklington slammed the move.

"We need to boost community involvement in crime prevention, not destroy it,” Ms Frecklington said.

"What is the Palaszczuk Government thinking in targeting Neighbourhood Watch volunteers for spending cuts?

"They should be backing community-spirited volunteers to the hilt, not stabbing them in the back.”

The move came days out from Neighbourhood Watch Celebrating its 30th Anniversary.

Darren Buckley co-ordinates the group for Murgon and sits on the State Government's Neighbourhood Watch Community Advisory Committee as a representative for south west Queensland.

He agrees the government made the wrong call.

"I'm not happy with it,” Mr Buckley said.

"The money the government was providing was helping with things like the plaques we put on the house and the street signs, being able to put on a state conference and help with crime prevention training.”

The annual state conference gives groups from across the state a chance to meet and share strategies on ways to keep their communities safe.

Without funding, the future of these conferences are in doubt.

"As far as I know, the plaque and street signs are all covered, but Neighbourhood Watch is celebrating 30 years, it's pretty well come at the wrong time. The plan was to have conference down at the Gold Coast. I don't think it'll go ahead,” Mr Buckley said.

The move doesn't mean local groups will close any time soon.

"We just need the government to realise they need the Neighbourhood Watch,” he said.

A Queensland Police spokesman said the government would continue to pay about $75,000 per year for insurance to cover Neighbourhood Watch groups around the state.

They said the cuts would see the organisation revert to a funding level dating back to 2012.

"Between 2012-2016, the Queensland Police Service provided Neighbourhood Watch Queensland a larger funding allocation to assist the organisation with the exponential growth it was seeing across the state,” the spokesman said.

"The QPS will continue to support NHWQ on a state-wide basis ensuring the 30th anniversary can be celebrated at a local level, recognising the valuable contribution all members of the community make to the success of the program.”

Topics:  deb frecklington funding neighbourhood watch queensland goverment

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