Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : September 19 2017 Contents THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2017 - PAGE 13
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Due to wet weather
A TOORA man who was seen by an off-duty
police officer and several other witnesses doing
burnouts in the ferry terminal carpark at Port
Welshpool, while drink-driving in March this
year, was put off the road for four years in the
Korumburra Magistrates’ Court last week.
Unfortunately, according to a police summary
of what happened on the night of Thursday,
March 2, 2017, it got worse from there.
After spinning the wheels on the grass and
gravel in the carpark, the car was driven past a
number of people, narrowly missing them by a
metre as the tail of the Holden sedan slid out.
The driver did another burnout and spun the
car 180 degrees before coming to a stop.
The off-duty officer, who had witnessed the
performance, contacted Toora police who at-
tended the scene.
They saw the car allegedly involved in the
incident parked near the foreshore and ap-
proached the driver, Ricky Brown 36 of Toora,
who was drinking from a can of Wild Turkey
bourbon and coke while walking nearby with
the passenger from the car.
Brown allegedly told the uniform police offi-
cer to “f--- off ”, that he wasn’t driving the car.
He also refused a preliminary breath test for
the same reason and was subsequently told his
car would be impounded under the ‘Hoon Leg-
Brown then allegedly approached the off-duty
officer in a menacing manner and pushed the
man in the chest with both hands.
Police then sprayed Brown with capsicum
spray, subdued him and handcuffed him. An
ambulance was called when the alleged of-
fender reported having difficulty breathing but
he was ultimately conveyed to the Wonthaggi
Police Station where he gave a no comment
Other charges, involving domestic violence,
were also brought against Mr Brown last week.
On a plea from the man’s lawyer, David Ew-
art, the penalty was reduced from a possible
jail term to a Community Corrections Order
for 12 months with 150 hours of community
work plus programs for treatment and reha-
bilitation from alcohol abuse and to reduce the
chances of reoffending.
“Prior to hearing from you, I had my finger
on the ‘IMP’ button, ” Magistrate Alsop said.
Mr Ewart said his client had since en-
gaged with a drug and alcohol counsellor at
Gippsland Southern Health Service, was re -
ceiving support from Anglicare and was going
to AA. He was able to produce some glowing
references on the man’s behalf.
Magistrate Alsop said Brown’s behaviour,
the hoon driving and the assault of police had
been outrageous but he said he also saw “a
glimmer of hope”.
As well as the 12-month CCO, Brown was
put off the road for four years, double the
usual penalty for refusing to accompany police
for a breath test, due to a prior conviction for
INVERLOCH saw a 60 per cent increase in
property and deception offences in the year to
March 2017, compared to the year prior.
Offences jumped from 93 to 149. The num-
bers could mean more people are committing
crimes, or police are charging more offenders.
But the shutters are down so often at the In-
verloch Police Station, locals say it can’t be the
Gary Tayler from the Inverloch Business and
Tourism Association met with Bass MP Brian
Paynter and State Opposition Leader Matthew
Guy on Tuesday, the Liberals’ spruiking their
thoughts on increasing police presence in Bass
Cowes’ police officers are based at the San
Remo station while works are completed at the
new police station on Phillip Island.
“Leaving Phillip Island without a police sta-
tion for 12 months is absolutely nuts,” Mr
Speaking about criminals finding soft targets
in Inverloch, he said, “If you don’t see police
presence, it just gives you the sense that ‘I can
do this, I can get away with it and off I go’.”
He acknowledged it would be physically im-
possible to have every police station manned
“But you’d certainly want them here when
people are needing them most and particularly
in those peak seasons,” Mr Paynter said.
“Areas like this need to be given proper con-
sideration in terms of the influx of people over
the busy periods and that’s where the demand
is going to be.”
Inverloch Business and Tourism Association
committee member Gary Tayler said the town
needed an increased police presence, especially
during the warmer months.
Mr Guy said Bass Coast has one of the fastest
growing population rates in Victoria.
“You can have all the new police in the world,
but if they haven’t got anywhere to operate out
of, then you’re going to see towns like Inverloch
left behind, Cowes left behind, where their op-
erating hours are being reduced.”
He said during peak tourism season, it mat-
ters “immensely” that there is a police station
“If they [people] are in trouble, the first place
they’ll drive to is a police station.
“We have to plan for the future as well, so
reducing services when we have three per cent
population growth here is crazy policy.”
We need police too: Inverloch
On Tuesday, State Opposition Leader Matthew Guy visited the Inverloch Police Station to
discuss the station being regularly closed, with Bass MP Brian Paynter and Inverloch Busi-
ness and Tourism Association committee member Gary Tayler. mm023817
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