Major overhaul coming for state’s policing districts
THE sprawling Central police region will be scaled back to better concentrate policing resources in the first major overhaul of boundaries since 2012.
Central region currently stretches from the Sunshine Coast to Bowen, taking in the Capricornia, Mackay, Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay Burnett districts, covering more than 13 per cent of the entire state.
That is set to be wound back to its former boundaries, from south of Gladstone to Bowen, in a move welcomed by the Queensland Police Union.
"It will go back to what it was," QPU president Ian Leavers said.
"(The Central Region) goes from Bowen right down to the Sunshine Coast. It used to go south of Gladstone and north of Mackay and out to Longreach.
"Currently Longreach is serviced by the Southern Region."
The existing Southern Region covers more than 17 per cent of the state, spreading as far east as Bribie Island, south to the New South Wales border, west to the South Australian border, and north to Winton.
"That doesn't make sense to me so we are winding things back to how it was," Mr Leavers said.
"The Central Region will become smaller which I think is better for people in the Central Region.
"Once you get too big, you get lost so I've been pretty passionate about that."
The Northern Region would take in the Townsville and Mount Isa police districts, while the Far North Region would cover Cairns to the Gulf.
Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner for Regional Queensland Paul Taylor, based in Townsville, said consultation was under way for the new realignments.
"A lot of consultation has gone on in regards to making sure those towns, communities that sit in one region or another, that consultation is there," he said.
He said the new regions would likely come into effect in early 2021.