NSW Police cast doubts over new council building

Cops want to stay put

The construction of the council’s new headquarters has again been thrown into doubt with police indicating they do not want to share the building.

The council has stated the construction will not go ahead without securing a tenant to lease two floors of the building and some of the underground space.

However the state’s top police officer Commissioner Michael Fuller stated on Wednesday that Queanbeyan Police had no desire to leave their current premises; the same day council approved a motion to progress the building proposal to its next stage.

“My priority is to have [the new station] next to the courthouse because that’s what police are telling me,” Commissioner Fuller said.

“I will be pushing on with it, I do want a new police station and I will make it my priority.”

Commissioner Fuller said Queanbeyan Police faced challenges due to their current facilities.

This comes after Deputy Premier John Barilaro suggested last week this was only one option being considered as a new police facility but it was one the police supported.

When asked for comment the Member for Monaro confirmed no decision had been finalised.

“There are a range of options for the new Queanbeyan police station under consideration,” Mr Barilaro said.

“While housing the Queanbeyan police force in the new council building is one option, a decision has not yet been made.

“What is absolutely clear is that we are going to have either a brand new purpose built police station in a new location, or a brand new purpose built police station on the current site.”

Mr Barilaro also said recent geotechnical data had shown that a new facility on the current site may not be feasible but it had not been ruled out.

Labor candidate for Monaro Bryce Wilson criticised the government’s handling of the situation which he said had led to confusion for the public and police officers.

“Given we are now two-and- a-half years on from the original announcement, we can’t tolerate any further delays,” Mr Wilson said.

“Let’s build what our police want, where they want and let’s get on with it.”

The council are yet to publicly confirm the tenant they have been negotiating with is NSW police.

On Wednesday the council voted to progress the building project to the next stage, which included approving general manager Peter Tegart to sign a lease agreement. A council spokesman confirmed tenders for construction would not be called for until a lease was signed.

“Council will continue to work with the relevant agency to progress the execution of a lease agreement,” the spokesman said.

“To this stage, negotiations have been positive and suggest an outcome will be achieved.”