News

Police at G20: who's going to look after us?

POLICE will be in short supply as more than half of the state's force is plucked from regional stations and placed on G20 duties later this year.

At least 37 local police - 20 from Hervey Bay and 17 from Maryborough - will be among the 4000 police packing their bags as global dignitaries descend on Brisbane in November.

It's a massive operation which Queensland Police Union general secretary Mick Barnes acknowledges is necessary for the protection of world leaders and the public but one which is also sure to stretch already strained local resources.

From next month until the end of November, Wide Bay police and all civilian staff face a blanket ban on taking leave to ensure there are enough officers staffing the region's stations.

Courts will not sit in Cairns during the Finance Minister's meeting next month and all court dates have been cleared across the state for the duration of the Brisbane Leaders Summit.

The police union has pledged to monitor working conditions and police strength at all stations which have been forced to shed staff for the summit.

Mr Barnes said Hervey Bay and Maryborough officers had been told they would be working eight-hour shifts with up to four hours overtime while their colleagues were in Brisbane.

"G20 will undoubtedly put pressure on regional police resources," Mr Barnes said.

"Those who will be left behind will have to work longer hours.

"It's a massive task but to put it into context, it goes for a week ... officers from around the world are needed to shut down and secure areas before dignitaries arrive."

A Queensland Police spokeswoman said "a considerable amount of resources" would be needed "in order to provide an effective policing presence for G20 events" in Brisbane and Cairns.

She said the leave and court embargoes were a result of 12 months planning by the G20 team.

Police officers from interstate, Canada and New Zealand will also take part in the summit.

Topics:  fraser coast, g20, hervey bay, maryborough, police



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