Some Dubbo councillors at last night’s extraordinary meeting, designed to tackle community concerns about law and order, were worried it was going to just be another “talk-fest”.
But a few hours later it seemed this was the one issue that might galvanise council into action.
Council took 10 steps, some more immediate than others, to figure out the puzzle of crime in Dubbo.
Most immediate was the concept of creating a new Aboriginal liaison officer by mid-year.
Councillor Richard Mutton suggested the measure after discovering the apparent success of similar roles in areas like Wagga Wagga and Albury, where more accurate information on the needs of the community was getting through to council.
“It’s so we can get the facts,” he said. “So we know what’s going on with domestic violence, and what’s going on behind the scenes in the Gordon Estate.”
But this was just one measure flanked by nine others, including advocating for further family and child support programs, the gradual dispersing of Department of Housing properties, and an investigation into longer special-suspension classes in schools.
One motion that received vocal support during the meeting was to change legislation dealing with young offenders, dubbed by a councillor last night as “the untouchables” – offenders under the age of 10.
Councillor Ben Shields suggested garnering Statewide support for the idea at this year’s Local Government Association conference for greater pressure to change the legislation.
Council’s discussions have come after a successful first period of AES security patrols in the Gordon Estate.
Councillor Rod Towney supported other ideas at the meeting, but said it might be more effective to back current initiatives rather than “reinvent” new ones. He urged council to find a way to support the work of the AES in West Dubbo after its funding ceases.
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