The South Australia Police Department faces a budget cut of up to $20 million if Mr Foley’s proposed ‘savings’ of 3-4% are implemented, Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Police Minister Rob Lucas said today.
Mr Lucas’s comments follow Police Minister Holloway’s refusal in Parliament today to guarantee no cuts to the Police Department budget.
On 7 April this year Mr Foley confirmed the Rann Government would break its key election promise of quarantining the police budget from Labor’s budget cut strategies. Mr Foley confirmed the police budget would now not be quarantined from the ‘budget savings’ strategy and would have to face the possibility of a cut of 3-4%.
“This year’s police budget is just over $500m with about $400m spent on police officers and other support staff,” Mr Lucas said today.
“If the $15-20m cut is directed at non-salary costs of about $100m then it is clear that there would be a cut of 15-20% in the non-salary budget of the Police Department.
“Such an enormous cut would lead to a very serious worsening of the quality of policing in South Australia.
“If the $15-20m budget cut is applied to the total police budget then it is clear the Government will have to cut a significant number of police support positions in the department.
“As Mr Foley has already highlighted, the department includes public service positions covering the Communications Centre, people checking warrants, counter staff in police stations, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, police security services officers and computer and IT personnel.
“Given the Police Minister’s refusal in Parliament today to guarantee no cuts in these areas, officers will face an uncertain time for the next five months waiting for the delayed State Budget.
“Whilst the Rann Government in the election campaign promised an extra 400 police officers, it specifically promised they would not be funded by cutting other parts of the Police Department budget.
“The arrogance of Mr Rann, Mr Foley and Mr Holloway on this broken promise is appalling and the public will not support a cut of up to $20m in the Police Department budget.”