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Libs want cop shop at Bayside Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au FRANKSTON’S Bayside Shopping Centre has been earmarked for one of 12 new police “shopfronts” if the Liberal Nationals coalition wins the November state election. The $7.2 million plan to put police inside some of the state’s main shopping centres is described as a “new approach to policing and community engagement providing a more visible police presence to deter crime”. Bayside’s executive general manager Justin Mills said the opposition’s proposal was “another way we can build on our longstanding partnership with Victoria Police, to engage our communities, and make our centres destinations people love to visit and connect with.” The shopfronts are the opposition’s latest law and order proposal to counter what it says is a “crime wave with assaults up 17.2 per cent, theft up 15.7 per cent and robbery up 32.4 per cent under Labor”. Other shopping centres to get police will be built outside Chadstone, Highpoint, Northland, Craigieburn, Doncaster, The Glen, Southland, Eastland, Knox City, Fountain Gate and Westfield Geelong. The shopping centres will supply space for the shopfronts. Frankston Detective Senior Sergeant Michael Lamb – the endorsed Liberal candidate for Frankston – described the shopfronts concept as an “outstanding idea”.

“It’s a good use of police resources and will increase the police presence in a place where lots of people are,” he said. Detective Lamb, now stationed at Mornington, said the shopfronts – to be manned by “extra police” – were part of a “pro-active initiative to help make Victoria safe again”. They are part of a package of opposition policies on justice, including reforming bail and parole laws and a mandatory sentencing regime. Opposition leader Matthew Guy, who went to Highpoint at Maribyrnong to simultaneously announce the shopfronts, said a coalition government would “work collaboratively with police and shopping centre operators to proactively improve community safety for visitors, retailers, their staff and local communities”. “There is a real opportunity to improve community safety for the tens of thousands of Victorians who visit our large shopping and entertainment centres every day,” he said. “Shopping centres are major focal points for the community and among the most visited places across Victoria. “Victorians deeply respect the work our police do but they want to see them more engaged in the community for reassurance, prevention and as community leaders.” He said the opposition had “consulted widely in the development of this policy initiative with Victoria Police, the police association and shopping centre operators” who, he said, were “happy to partner with police and provide space for police shopfronts and associated facilities”.





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Variety show: Dancing and “flame trowing” are just some of the varied acts that will be performed alongside the more traditional forms of busking at next month’s Peninsula Buskers Festival. Picture: Yanni

Busking at The Briars MUSICIANS, comedians and circus performers will perform at The Briars historic property, Mt Martha at the end of March in the second annual Peninsula Buskers Festival. “We had about 20,000 people come through last year over three days, probably around 40 performers, 25 food trucks, kids amusements and an outdoor cinema,” organiser Scott Hollow said. “This year we’re looking to have more than 100 performers, with those same outdoor cinemas and kids amusements.” Hollow expects at least 25,000 people will come along to watch the shows. “The Briars is really an untapped resource when it comes to events and we believe it’s definitely a place that should hold these kinds of


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Full story and more pictures in the March edition of Peninsula Essence magazine.




festivals,” he said. “It’s going to be great to get the word out there about what a beautiful place The Briars is. Having an event there also won’t disturb any of the locals in terms of sound, and the landscape is beautiful at night. “Performers can come from anywhere. Last year we concentrated on Victorian and local, but this year we’ve had more people apply, including an international flame thrower.” Entry to the festival is free. The Peninsula Busking Festival will take place at The Briars, Nepean Highway, Mt Martha, midday-10 pm on Saturday 31 March and Sunday 1 April.

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