An application by Caloundra Chamber of Commerce for additional closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras to be installed in the Caloundra CBD was today (May 17) approved by Sunshine Coast Council, subject to a range of conditions being satisfied.
The public space cameras will be in addition to the 42 that council operates and maintains on the Sunshine Coast, including 18 already in Caloundra, 13 in Mooloolaba, nine in Nambour and two in Maroochydore.
These cameras are used to detect unlawful behaviour and to assist with improving public confidence in the safety and security of public spaces.
The additional Caloundra cameras will be primarily in Bulcock Street and Felicity Park.
Division 2 Cr Dwyer said while the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce had received a Federal Government Safer Communities Program grant towards the cost of the installation of additional CCTV in the Caloundra CBD, the funding did not cover the significant ongoing maintenance, replacement and operational costs which would have to be met by our ratepayers.
“Because of the significant ongoing costs, it is imperative that all CCTV systems are deemed absolutely necessary and we are calling on other levels of government, who are ultimately responsible for law and order, to fund the ongoing maintenance and replacement costs,” Cr Dwyer said.
“It is also important to note that CCTV is just one of a suite of mechanisms that can be used to improve community safety and it may not at times be an appropriate response.
“Other measures that are available include improved design, lighting, activation of public spaces and additional security measures.
“Our intention is to manage CCTV carefully to achieve the best outcomes for the Sunshine Coast community and we will review council’s Public Space Closed Circuit Television Policy which evaluates the appropriateness of CCTV and the management of CCTV cameras and their footage.”
Cr Dwyer said it was imperative that the State Government accepted its responsibility for law and order and provide more resources, especially police on the beat.
“That is the best crime preventer we have.
“We need the State Government and our local MPs to do something to get more police on the ground.
“Our ratepayers already pay their taxes which are for law and order and to properly resource the provision of police officers and, through that, crime prevention.
“It’s unfair and inappropriate that this responsibility should come back to council and imposing an extra financial burden.
“I ask community groups such as Caloundra Safe and the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce to write to the State Government and their local State Member asking for more police on the beat.
“Why is it that we have the State Member asking council to be the only agency to spend money – apart from the grant from the Federal Government – for law and order on the Sunshine Coast.
“Despite fighting for it for more than a decade, during which time all local members were in Government, we have not received one cent for CCTV from the State Government.
“Local government should not pick up the bill for law and order. The State Government must take on this responsibility.”
The Caloundra Chamber of Commerce application was approved subject to the following conditions:
· Council and the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce and Industry will enter into a formal agreement detailing both parties’ responsibilities.
· The appropriate Grant Agreement has been entered into with the Commonwealth Government for the Caloundra CCTV system project.
· Council and relevant Queensland Government bodies will enter into a formal agreement detailing both parties’ responsibilities for the funding of maintenance and replacement for the Caloundra CCTV system project.