The Nationals WA spokesperson for Police and Road Safety Hon Martin Aldridge MLC has taken issue with the State Government’s direction of an independent road safety body to buy a new helicopter for the WA Police Force.
Mr Aldridge questioned the Minister’s decision to demand the Road Trauma Trust Account (RTTA) shell out for the new chopper.
“The Road Trauma Trust Account is to be used exclusively for initiatives that demonstrably will reduce the number and seriousness of road fatalities and injuries,” he said.
“We know that road safety in regional WA is a serious problem, accounting for more death and serious injuries per capita than metropolitan locations.
“The fact that the Road Safety Council had not recommended the expenditure of RTTA funds in this way demonstrates it is not the highest priority for road safety in Western Australia.
“The Minister using her powers to direct the Road Safety Council is questionable at best and will put at risk road safety initiatives and outcomes that otherwise could have been funded by the collection of red light and speeding infringements in Western Australia.”
The Nationals WA spokesperson for Police and Road Safety Hon Martin Aldridge MLC.
As outlined in the State Budget, Labor plan to spend $26.9 million to replace one of two Western Australia Police Force helicopter’s to ensure operational capabilities are maintained.
Mr Aldridge said that while it was important to continually update police equipment, the Police Minister Michelle Roberts’ comment that the previous government did nothing could not go unanswered.
“The previous Liberal National Government invested $24 million to purchase a Eurocopter AS365 N3 to supplement the ageing BK117 in 2012.
“This is in addition to a $1.4 million investment in a state-of-the-art WA Police Air Wing facility in 2014 at Jandakot Airport”, Mr Aldridge said.
Mr Aldridge said that this was yet another example of regional Western Australia missing out at the hands of this city focused State Government.
“This decision will no doubt jeopardise many projects and programs that could have made a difference to road safety outcomes in this State.
“The purchase of a Police helicopter should be no different to the replacement of an ambulance, or a RFDS plane.
“They all contribute considerably to road safety outcomes but are the ordinary expenditure of government, not targeted initiatives aimed at prevention”, Mr Aldridge said.