Mining and Pastoral Member the Hon Neil Thomson MLC has called on the McGowan Labor Government to take immediate action to address the law-and-order crisis unfolding in the Kimberley region.

“We are facing an escalation in crime and lawlessness levels right across the north. Disappointingly the Minister representing the Minister for Police, Stephen Dawson MLC, declined to acknowledge there was a crisis occurring in the Kimberley during Legislative Council Budget Estimates.”

“The government is burying its head in the sand and ignoring the regions” said Mr Thomson.

“This situation is heavily impacting essential service delivery, especially Health, where staff who are already stressed by under resourcing and having to deal with the brunt of domestic violence and assaults are facing
home intrusions, car theft and nightly disturbances in a number of our communities.”

He continued, “we all know there are no quick fixes but at the very least, the Kimberley deserves a response proportionate to the crisis. If the rate of car stealing in the Kimberley was replicated in the Perth metropolitan
area 27,000 vehicles would have been stolen last financial year.

The actual figure was 3765. We have seen dedicated police officers injured on the job, health clinics vandalised, ram raids and the tragic deaths of young members of the community in vehicle rollovers.”

The Kimberley region requires an immediate increase in police and health worker levels along with a focus on increasing housing availability and education support to keep young people more engaged with their education
and diversion activities.

“A whole generation is being lost to lawlessness and entire communities are paying a heavy price due to government neglect,” said Mr Thomson.

This failure to take action on law-and-order by the McGowan Labor Government comes a matter of weeks after its announcement to abolish regional representation.

Mr Thomson went on to add: “If this is how bad things are now, imagine how much worse they will be next term when regional upper house electorates are gone. It’s clear this McGowan Labor Government has put all its focus on the major towns.”