Independent mayoral candidate, Greg Dowling, will tackle crime in Townsville with a multi-million dollar investment in monitoring technology across the city, training programs for young offenders and more police on the beat.
“If elected Mayor I will establish a steering committee within the first fortnight to implement the Townsville Safe City Program,’’ Mr Dowling said.
“I will work with the State Government to obtain an extra 100 police for Townsville. If that means I have to turn up to the Premier’s office every Monday morning to make my message heard, I will do that for this town,’’ Mr Dowling said.
Mr Dowling said the $12 million Safe City Program would comprise $8 million for monitoring technology and $4 million for youth training programs.
“Under the program, I will commit $8 million in the first two years of the term to installing an additional 300 specialised CCTV cameras in the most vulnerable areas of our city.
“These state of the art cameras will be equipped with number plate recognition technology which will allow us to track down stolen vehicles more quickly.
“I will relocate the monitoring facility to a CBD location, increase its capacity considerably and work with the Queensland Police service to share footage to assist them in live situations.”
The former rugby league great and successful local businessman of more than 12 years said the much-needed program would be funded through savings in council’s wasteful $830 million annual budget.
“This is a secretive council who do not tell residents how their money is spent. A council I lead will not waste ratepayers’ money on Brisbane and Sydney consultants or celebrities,’’ Mr Dowling.
“Townsville has an enormous budget of over $830 million. As a business owner I know how to find savings.
“It is only through a proactive program such as this that Townsville can achieve its full potential,’’ he said
“If elected I will also engage with organisations that re-educate young people with criminal convictions.
“It is important that young offenders don’t fall through the cracks. They need to learn lifelong skills for a better life.
“Proper skills and training is the key to meaningful jobs and livelihoods for themselves and their families. This will help break the cycle of generational crime,’’ Mr Dowling said.
“I want all Townsville residents to feel safe in their homes and safe in their communities.
“I want to give businesses the confidence to operate and expand in Townsville thereby bringing employment and opportunity back to the city.”
“If we reduce crime, we reduce the cost of crime.
“People don’t feel safe in their homes and in their communities and why would they? The current statistics are shocking,’’ Mr Dowling said.
In 2019 there were over 14,700 crimes committed against property. Over 3,100 of these were unlawful entry of property.
In addition there were over 2,000 assault related offences and more than 6,700 drug offences in Townsville.
“People have the right to feel safe in their own community. We know the damage that drugs do to our children. We need drugs off our streets and drug dealers behind bars,’’ Mr Dowling said.
“Crime in Townsville continues to increase and the current mayor has shown no leadership and has no plans to tackle the issues,’’ he said.