Critics sceptical of Miller's late reprieve for comms centre
THE Queensland Police Union is still concerned that the Ipswich police communications centre will be turned into a specialty inquiries or dispatch centre despite an announcement this evening saying it was going to stay open.
Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller sent out the reprieve notice in a late press release which also said all jobs at the current centre were guaranteed.
"The centre will soon be fitted out with a state-of-the-art wireless network to enhance safety for the community and provide job security for police and civilian staff at the centre," she said. "Ageing technology at the Yamanto centre will be upgraded with the new government wireless network, which is expected to be operational in early 2016.
"This means the centre will be best-placed to protect the community in emergencies, such as floods, fires and severe storms through the summer months.
"These changes will have no effect on the ability of staff to monitor the Council's CCTV cameras and dispatch local crews to any incidents. That's the case now, and it will continue to be the case in the future."
The announcement is a turnabout face from Ms Miller who sided with the police commissioner in his decision earlier this year to close it down.
It wasn't until the QT voiced outrage at the decision that Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk became involved.
The Premier visited the centre, talked to staff and listened to their concerns and decided that further consultation was needed.
The kicker in Ms Miller's press release this evening was the following sentence: "Today's outcome provides a six-month window of opportunity for the Queensland Police Service to work closely with all parties, including staff and the unions, to determine the ongoing role of the centre."
A police service spokesman said they believed the announcement was just a stalling tactic to take heat off Ms Miller and the government.
Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg said Ms Miller continued to treat the Ipswich community with contempt.
"At the 11th hour Labor has cobbled together a response and decided to save the communications centre," he said.
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale met the announcement with scepticism.
"It will be interesting to see what happens following the six month window Ms Miller mentions," he said.