Around 30 people braved the cool night air to attend BeCA’s mid year Public Meeting. There were three major speakers, Andrew Wallace Federal MP, Greg Beale from Crime Stoppers and Snr Cons Peter Oxenford and Snr Sgt John Mahony from Caloundra Police. Despite the smaller numbers in attendance, this meeting proved to be full of interest and extremely informative.
Andrew Wallace, Federal Member for Fisher:
The Federal member for Fisher, Andrew Wallace attended the June Public Meeting and spoke of his vision for the area. He began his working life as a builder. Following further studies he went on to become a “Construction Lawyer” and now is proud to be the Federal Member. He has lived on the Sunshine Coast for 25 years and as a resident has a deep commitment to the lifestyle here on the Coast.
Andrew would like to see industry diversify and is keen to promote local Industry tendering for Defence Industry Contracts. Several Coast companies have recently won these contracts expanding job prospects and industry diversity on the Coast.
A streamlining of processes is required to permit smaller local industries to effectively bid for Defence Industry contracts. For too long the Sunshine Coast has focused upon Tourism and Housing as its major industries, both of which are subject to numerous troughs and peaks. A movement towards Defence Industry contracts would be a more stable approach for industry to take.
Andrew spoke of the $1.6 billion investment the Federal Government has made to upgrade the Bruce Highway to 3 lanes from Caloundra to Pine Rivers. It is a 4 year project and will see traffic delays in the short term, but will be a better outcome for all when completed.
The Federal Member spoke of the Security Emergencies in the UK. Unfortunately it is inevitable there will be similar occurrences in Australia. This will be a task which comes down to the police and the armed forces to deal with.
The duplication of the train line from Beerwah to Nambour was another priority for the Coast with grants of up to 50% becoming available for the states to tap into.
Greg Beale, CrimeStoppers:
Greg Beale also attended the recent BeCA Public Meeting. Greg is a Convenor of the Sunshine Coast Branch of Crime Stoppers. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer group which receives no direct funding from any Government source. One of their major tasks is that of fund raising which they do via Bowls and Golf Days.
You are invited to call Crime Stoppers if you wish to make any sort of a report on any suspicious or illegal action you may witness. This report is dealt with anonymously and each report is in turn passed on to police. They are a conduit between yourself and the police where you can lodge any concern anonymously.
Crime Stoppers has been responsible for solving murders, drug busts, and other crimes across Australia almost every day. In 2016 they fielded 680,000 calls.
Two officers from Caloundra Police addressed the BeCA Public Meeting. One officer is a Bellvista/Bells Reach resident. Both officers had previously served elsewhere in the state before being appointed to Caloundra.
Both felt that though there was a definite criminal element here on the Coast, crime was not the problem it had been during their previous postings.
Major police concerns in Caloundra centre around Domestic Violence and the drug “Ice”. It was an addiction to Ice which usually leads to local burglaries and robberies for cash to fund their habit. It was nothing for the a $10,000 valued stolen necklace to be sold for a mere $500 to support an “Ice” addiction habit.
A major source of concern was criminals from outside our area coming to commit crimes. A car load of four from Brisbane would arrive on the Coast and target an area. Usually one was the driver and the other three were the foot soldiers. In a street they would go from car to car checking door handles for cars which had been unlocked.
Unfortunately there are way too many people leaving their cars unlocked, some even with keys in the ignition and others with “Garage Openers” attached to keys or stored behind sun visors.
People should lock their cars and keep their valuables, wallets and keys inside the house.
With so many cars left unlocked overnight all over Caloundra it is no wonder they have become a target for thieves.
Some people even leave their garage doors open overnight which allows access to homes while people may be asleep. A criminal enters your home and knows you are there, they will be after wallets, credit cards and mobile phones. If they enter knowing you are not there they are after jewellery and other valuables.
Caloundra Police receive anywhere from 10 to 25 calls per day where police attendance is required. A call out may last anytime from 30 minutes to a full day. Another major source of concern for Caloundra Police is “Paywave Credit Cards”.
“Closed Circuit TV” (CCTV) is becoming a major source of assistance to police. The decision to install CCTV cameras across Caloundra should have a marked effect on the police’s ability to identify criminals in the act of committing a crime. Already local CCTV has led to the identification and arrest of several criminals.
The Community is the eyes and ears of Caloundra Police. It is important that any member of the public who notices anything irregular or even slightly suspicious should report it to the police or CrimeStoppers. Jot down the registration numbers and the time of day of any new and unidentified vehicles acting suspiciously in your area and report this information.
Caloundra Police: (07) 5439 4444
Police Link: 131 444
Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000