Hume to provide new police training site
Search is on: Advertisement in The Age on July 4.HUME will be home to a new police training academy, and the old Victoria University site in Sunbury is one possible location.
Brookfield Multiplex Services, on behalf of the state government, advertised for expressions of interest earlier this month to either purchase or lease land to build a new Victoria Police training facility.
The advertisement appeared as former Hume councillor Jack Medcraft raised at a council meeting earlier this month the possibility of using the Jacksons Hill university site as a location for a police and/or anti-terrorism academy.
Since the meeting, the Weekly has discovered that Cr Jack Ogilvie raised the issue with council chief executive Domenic Isola 12 months ago.
“A year ago I raised this [using the VU campus] through Domenic and Margarita Caddick
[city communities director],” Cr Ogilvie said.
“I said they should talk to police as they were looking for a place, and raise it with the officers at council.
“I hadn’t heard anything further.
“They still could consider it and I think we should pursuit it.”
Mr Isola said the council had written to Premier Ted Baillieu regarding the use of the site.
“Council wrote to the Premier regarding its use for a potential centre of excellence or training academy.
“Council is currently working with the state government on a range of possible uses for the site, including a training centre for police or other like services.”
A Victoria Police spokesman confirmed it is looking at Hume for a training centre.
“The government announced in May last year funding for land and planning for the relocation of Victoria Police’s Essendon ‘operational tactics and safety training facility’ (OTST).
“The lease on the existing facility (at 198 Hammond Street, Essendon Fields) expires in January 2014.
He said a site for the new training facility had not been selected.
“The government and Victoria Police are seeking expressions of interest from land owners for a site within the Hume municipality to accommodate a new OTST facility.
“This training facility offers extra training for police once they have graduated from the Victoria Police Academy.
“During the five-day training course, the members take part in firearms training, defensive tactics and scenario-based exercises.”
Police Minister Peter Ryan said while the government allocated the funding, it was up to police as to how and where it was spent.