Adjournment : Cross Border Policing
1 May 2019 : Mr Walsh
My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Police and Emergency Services and the action I seek from the minister for police is that she urgently bring together the relevant ministers and senior police to ensure that cross-border policing issues are resolved into the future. I never want to see the situation again that Kate and Neville Reilly and their three young children found themselves in last July. Although they only live 17 kilometres across the river from Swan Hill they were subjected to a violent aggravated burglary by what they believe was an ice-affected man at the time. When Kate wrote to me about that she said: We struggled to defend our home and family for almost an hour and thankfully with the brave assistance from two neighbours managed to restrain the intruder until NSW police arrived from 85 km away. All this while Swan Hill police were at a 24-hour manned station just fifteen minutes away. It has been very well documented now the breakdown in communications between Victoria and New South Wales police that left Kate and Neville in that situation where they got no police response for over an hour to this aggravated burglary. But there is a solution and there have been a number of meetings with senior police in northern Victoria which is why I am asking the minister to convene a meeting with her New South Wales counterpart. I draw the minister’s attention to the South Australian Cross-Border Justice Act 2009 for the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) lands which is a large area that straddles the borders between Western Australia South Australia and the Northern Territory an area of something like 450 000 square kilometres-five times the size of Tasmania. In that particular area now with that act of Parliament if a crime is committed a police officer from any of the three participating states can arrest you anywhere in the region. You can be held in custody anywhere in the region and you can be tried by any court within that cross-border area. An example that has been put to me by senior people that believe this could be resolved is limiting the number of local government areas in Victoria and New South Wales that could be part of this-Mildura Swan Hill Ganawarra Campaspe Moira Indigo Wodonga Towong and East Gippsland shires in Victoria; and in New South Wales Wentworth Balranald Murray River Berrigan the City of Albury Greater Hume Snowy Valleys Snowy Monaro and the Bega Valley-and making a cross-border policing district there where as I said like the NPY lands the police could go across the border they could arrest someone and they could be dealt with in courts across the border. It has actually been proven that it can be done by South Australia the Northern Territory and Western Australia. I would urge the minister to urgently convene a meeting of the relevant ministers and senior police so we can get to that situation here in Victoria and in New South Wales and so we do not see the likes of Kate and Neville Reilly’s situation where their home was invaded and they could not get police help.