A COALITION government would spend $450,000 on CCTV cameras in Gilmore.
The roll call of political heavyweights visiting the electorate continued on Wednesday with shadow minister for seniors and special minister for state Bronwyn Bishop in Nowra to support Liberal candidate Ann Sudmalis.
Mrs Bishop pressed the flesh with shoppers at the East Nowra shopping centre.
She pledged $450,000 for Gilmore - $300,000 to Shoalhaven City Council and $150,000 for Kiama Council - to install CCTV cameras.
Of that $100,000 would be used to install cameras in East Nowra, $100,000 for cameras in Sanctuary Point and $100,000 for CCTV in Bomaderry.
A $10,000 grant was also announced for the Shoalhaven PCYC at East Nowra.
“Should we be successful in being elected, $450,000 will be awarded for CCTV cameras which has a great impact on reducing crime,” said Mrs Bishop, who was flanked by local shop-owners.
“I know how important that is for all the people in East Nowra in particular.”
Mrs Bishop dismissed suggestions CCTV coverage was a state or local government responsibility, saying the rollout was part of the Liberal Party’s Safer Streets Safer Communities program.
“When people know CCTV cameras are around, their behaviour suddenly improves. They know they are going to be caught, they are less likely to commit the crime in the first place,” Mrs Bishop said.
Asked about the privacy issues that have dogged the Nowra CBD cameras, Mrs Bishop said she was aware some people had concerns.
“I believe for individual safety [CCTV cameras] are very important technology we have available to us today and it would be very remiss I think, not to use it,” she said.
“The announcement is dependent on Tony Abbott being elected as Prime Minister and that means we have to have individuals elected to form government and that includes Ann Sudmalis.”
Mrs Sudmalis said the announcement had the potential to protect the community.
“We’ve had armed hold-ups in this community and the other areas where we are proposing CCTV cameras,” she said.
“I have been investigating and talking to business owners for 15 months and this is some of the resolutions they would like,” she said.
“Fifty million dollars has been set aside from profits of crime and this is some of that money allocated to prevent crime.
“This is essential – if you spoke to the newsagency at Bomaderry that has been held up numerous times in the past 14 months, the chemist and shops along this strip and in Kiama you would not be questioning the cost of CCTV cameras - this is essential.”
She said the cameras could help solve crime after the event but also act as a deterrent.
Mrs Sudmalis was asked if installing CCTV cameras was a federal issue.
“Certainly it should be a state and local government issue, and they can put the cameras in place.
“But if you are a representative of your community and the shop owners say we need to do something and you’ve got a $50 million pot you want to get a share for your community.”
She denied Shoalhaven City Council had been ignoring local retailers and the community for the past couple of years by not installing more cameras.
“[Councils] don’t have access to those funds, that is only available through their federal member,” she said.
She was asked why funds had not already been made available.
“We’ve had a Labor Government for six years,” she said.
“But we had had a Liberal Government for a long time before that,” asked one of the journalists present.
“I can’t answer that question,” Mrs Sudmalis said.
“We have a program for going forward and getting things done, not looking behind us. We are looking at the next election, the next federal candidate and that’s where we are going. We are looking what is in front of us, not behind us.”
While in town Mrs Bishop also announced that a Coalition government would provide $300,000 for an upgrade of the Berry School of Arts.