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Bourke Police Station upgrade to go ahead

NSW Deputy Premier Paul Toole in Bourke on Friday with Constable Maggie Russell, Police Commissioner Karen Webb, Nationals candidate for Barwon Annette Turner and Constable Peter Hadlow. Photo TWH

Tricia Duffield

The NSW government has announced funding for an upgrade to the Bourke Police station with $13 million on the table to design and build a modern, state-of-the-art facility.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Paul Toole made the announcement when he toured the building and met police during a visit to Bourke on Friday.

The promised upgrade will be a significant commitment from the NSW government which has had a revamp of the rambling and unsuitable building on its ‘to do’ list since March 2019.

“Once complete, the modern facility will provide the right resources to better support the critical work of the 27 general duties police, detectives, rural crime investigators, the crime prevention unit, administrative officers and prosecutors.

“Local officers go above and beyond, whether it’s responding to emergencies or road accidents, at the frontline of flood operations and rescues, or day-to-day community policing – and this is about ensuring they have the facilities they need to operate effectively.”

Mr Toole said the design phase would take six months and would take into consideration the heritage features of the original 159-year-old building.

“The design should be finalised by May next year and the construction is expected to take 12 months,” he said.

“As Deputy Premier and Minister for Police, I have said it is important for police to have a modern, fit-for-purpose facility to accommodate the growing needs of the police force in Bourke and for it to be as comfortable and efficient as their city counterparts.

“A modern station will make a big difference to their day-to-day work.”

One of the biggest challenges for the designers will be working around and preserving the heritage features of what is one of Bourke’s most impressive public buildings, but as well as working around those aspects of the design, the architects will also have to consider a heritage listed tree in the courtyard.

“We will have to work around that tree and the other heritage aspects and protect the character of the site,” Mr Toole said.

Read more local news in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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