We have again seen a concerning upsurge in crime this last week and I urge our community to be vigilant.  

I have been made aware of at least six incidents of break-and-enter and five vehicle thefts in a one-week period and have spoken to the Oxley Command Superintendent, the Gunnedah Police Inspector and our Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson. 

Rest assured, actions are under way to apprehend those responsible.

It’s really important at this moment to lock up, whether it’s your home or vehicle. Now is the time for our community to be vigilant; look out for yourselves, look out for your family and your neighbours. If you see something suspicious, I urge you to report it to our local police on 6742 9099 and Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

We’ve seen data in the March quarter that has shown really concerning crime statistics stemming from home and vehicle theft, and while that has stabilised in these past few months, the results from last week are a major concern. The April 2021 to March 2022 NSW Bureau of Crime 

Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) data has shown a significant increase in break and enter dwelling (135.1 per cent), stealing from a dwelling (51.2 per cent), motor vehicle theft (55 per cent), stealing from a motor vehicle (80 per cent) and (47.5 per cent).

Remaining vigilant and reporting crime is the best way we can support our local police force who are working as hard as they can. We know we need more police in our shire, and I have written to the NSW Minister for Police and the Shadow Minister for Police, highlighting our community’s concerns about the increased rates of crime throughout the shire and called for bipartisan support to allocate more police resources to be based out of the Gunnedah police station to serve our community.

On a more positive note, I’d like to congratulate Gunnedah Shire Library on receiving the Special Acknowledgement Award for Innovation in Special Events for its Multicultural March initiative at the Local Government Week Awards.

I attended the dinner with librarian Christiane Birkett in Sydney last week and I was proud to step on stage with Christiane to accept this well-deserved award.

I commend Christiane and her team who put in so much work to provide a wide variety of initiatives and programs for all ages and interests, and also thank the Multicultural Women’s Association for its invaluable contribution to Multicultural March.

I’d also like to acknowledge the amazing team at Gunnedah Shire Council, that serve our community day-in, day-out, with essential services that help our community function.

And there are even more good things to look forward to – next week, the shire’s population will grow exponentially with the return of AgQuip. The three-day agricultural event is a highlight on the shire’s calendar and it will be fantastic to walk through the gates of the grounds once again and soak up the unique atmosphere that Australia’s biggest premier agricultural field days bring. 

With the return of AgQuip, we also herald the return of council’s NightQuip Community Night Markets on Tuesday, August 16 from 5.30pm to 8.30pm.

NightQuip is on the first night of AgQuip and will light up Gunnedah’s main street with music, market stalls, food and late-night shopping. I urge the entire community to come out and support the event and help NightQuip to be a great success.

There will be plenty for the whole family to enjoy at the vibrant evening festival which will be bigger and better than ever, thanks to funding from the Reconnecting Regional NSW – Community Events Program.

Come along and enjoy this fantastic community event.

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