Cameron calls on Police Minister

Urgent action: Member for Morwell Martin Cameron has invited the Minister for Police to see first-hand how drastic the situation is in the Latrobe Valley. Photograph supplied

MEMBER for Morwell, Martin Cameron, has written to the Minster for Police, Anthony Carbines, requesting an urgent meeting to discuss a surge in violent and anti-social behaviour across the Latrobe Valley.

It comes after Mr Cameron launched a petition last week, calling on the state government to increase police and Protective Services Officers (PSO) resources in response to rising incidents of theft, vandalism and assault in the Morwell, Moe, Traralgon and Churchill areas.

“I have invited the Minister for Police to visit my office in Morwell to meet with me to see first-hand the issue sweeping our CBDs, shopping centres and public transport terminals,” Mr Cameron said.

“I have been raising the issue of police and PSO resources with the Andrews Labor government for months, and repeated calls for action have fallen on deaf ears.

“This is a very complex and multi-faceted issue, and I acknowledge there are many other contributing societal factors at play, particularly when it comes to young people. This is not about demonising or punishing people, but it is a step in the right direction in terms of deterring the behaviour in the first instance.

“Our police are not just law enforcement officers – they conduct youth outreach programs, link with local services to provide referrals, and work tirelessly to support disengaged youth – all these things help build confidence and foster positive relationships and behaviours. We have a responsibility to ensure our youth have access to information, education, and appropriate support services they can trust.

“The call for more police and PSO resources does not address the underlying issues that contribute to anti-social behaviour, but it is a very real action the Andrews Labor government can take now to help the Latrobe Valley community feel safe in public.”

Business owners and retailers in shopping centres and across the Morwell, Moe, Traralgon and Churchill CBDs have reached Mr Cameron’s office en masse in recent months to report stark rises in theft, public drunkenness and assault.

Many are so concerned for the safety of staff that they have permanently locked their doors to the public and cut trading hours, while others report they are “living in fear” and reporting incidents to police daily.

“Every day my office is contacted by business owners and retailers at their wits’ end, after yet another instance of theft, vandalism, and in some cases serious assault,” Mr Cameron said.

“We have a serious problem with anti-social and criminal behaviour in town centres across the Latrobe Valley, and it is having a disastrous impact on small business and – more importantly – community safety.”

For the year to March 31, there were 10,319 criminal incidents per 100,000 population recorded in Latrobe – the highest of any municipality in the state outside metropolitan Melbourne.

“The Morwell electorate has the highest crime rate of any municipality in Victoria outside of metropolitan Melbourne, and now business owners and residents are telling us they don’t feel safe,” Mr Cameron said.

“The numbers don’t lie, and Labor can’t spin this data any other way – we need more police and PSO resources in the Valley and we need them now.

“Our police do a terrific job keeping our community safe, but their resources are stretched thin, and the reality is they cannot always respond to these instances in a timely manner.

“Individuals, businesses and retailers are welcome to print off copies of the petition and collect signatures.

To download the petition, visit

To sign the petition, visit Mr Cameron’s office at 12-14 George St in Morwell, Morwell or Melina Bath’s office at 181 Franklin St in Traralgon. Several businesses in the Moe, Morwell, Traralgon and Churchill CBDs and shopping centres are also collecting signatures.