Raising the BARR – Week ending 4 May 2018

Supporting our local Police

This coming Thursday 10 May, our local Police are taking an incredibly brave step by organising a local community rally.  We should all support the cause.  It is unusual for Police to openly make such a public plea for help and support, but it is a reflection of the times.

Our local Police Officers are asked to do more work than almost every other Police Officer and Police Station in the State.  NSW Police know this through their statistics and NSW Police know that this has been the case for almost 10 years, possibly more.  Our crime rates, per Police Officer, are sky high.

Thursday will be a chance for the community to show how much we support our local Police and how much we are expecting of the State Government.  Currently, Police are allocated on the basis of population, not crime.  This leads to a bizarre situation where Police Stations in the Eastern Suburbs and the North Shore of Sydney are full of officers, even though the crime rate is very low, while Police Stations like Cessnock are screaming out for more cops to help manage the workload.  Last week an extra 30 officers were granted to the Eastern Suburbs and North Shore, while Cessnock got just 1.

Under the current restructure of NSW Police, one of the ideal outcomes is to get Police to the places where crime is high and the workload per officer is enormous, regardless of population.  The name given to this process is “re-engineering”.  But the re-engineering hasn’t fared well for Cessnock, with Police Officers, now allocated to Cessnock, unable to be based in Cessnock due to the small and inadequate condition of the Police Station.  So some of the Cessnock Police are working from other Stations.  This affects the people of Kurri Kurri, Greta and Branxton as we are now all under the one Police District.  Perhaps Kurri Kurri Police Station needs to be re-opened to at least get our cops into our area.

Please turn up on Thursday to support our Police.

The CTP Refund is big business for NSW Government

I wrote in my previous column about the CTP refund process and how the Government is looking to take a slice of the money, your money, on the way through.  Here are some figures.  There are approximately 4 million vehicles registered in NSW.  The average CTP refund due is $120.  So the refund scheme is worth $480M.  The Government has decided that they are taking a $10 handling fee for every account, which is an immediate cash grab of $40M.  The Government have also decided that any refund under $20 (before the fee is deducted) won’t be going out at all, giving themselves an extra $20M – $40M.  Currently, only 25% of people have sought their refund, meaning the Government have only had to hand out around $120M, while they are holding on to the other $360M.  I would personally be surprised if the Government end up handing back more than 50% of the total fund, meaning that they get to pocket around $240M of your money, despite knowing who you are, where you live and how much money they owe you.  Imagine if the people of NSW owed them $240M; I wonder if they would use that knowledge of who we are a little more forcefully?