Safety key focus of investment in city budget

Date published: 27 June 2022

Townsville’s CCTV security and surveillance network will be given an upgrade after Townsville City Council allocated $5.3 million in the 2022/23 Budget and Operational Plan to improve the system of nearly 500 cameras.

The spend is part of Council’s more than $33 million investment into key safety initiatives across the city to further improve safety for visitors and residents.

Mayor Jenny Hill said while dealing with crime was not in the remit of local government, Council was committed to doing its part to protect its assets and ensure community spaces remained safe for locals and visitors to enjoy.

“Council’s more than $5 million investment into the CCTV network will go towards operations, upgrades, and renewals,” Cr Hill said.

“These cameras are a critical support mechanism local government can provide community and act as both a deterrent for crime and a resource to support local authorities to respond to incidents in the city.”

Council has a memorandum of understanding with Queensland Police for the provision of footage through its CCTV network which captures 24-hour surveillance vision at hundreds of sites throughout the city.

“In the past 12 months Council has received 598 requests for CCTV footage, making this an essential investment for the safety of our community,” Cr Hill said.

Community Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability Committee chairperson Maurie Soars said a further $22.1 million was being invested specifically to support a safe community.

“Council’s 2022/23 budget accounts for an investment of $4.9 million in the operation and upgrade of street and public facility lighting, because we understand the important role good lighting plays in enhancing security after dark,” Cr Soars said.

“Locals and visitors using Townsville’s beaches, Riverway Lagoon and The Strand Waterpark will also benefit from $2 million of funding for lifeguards to ensure people are kept safe in these popular locations.

“Council is also investing $15.2 million for youth services and infrastructure to keep young people positively engaged with their community, providing a holistic approach to community safety.”

Council also responded swiftly earlier this year following a spike in stolen vehicles ripping through and damaging public parks and sporting fields.

A program was rolled out to locate natural boulders around the perimeter of these fields to act as a protection mechanism and stop vehicle access without restricting public amenity.

The initiative which has already rolled out in Heatley and Kelso, will continue with a $2 million budget allocated to continue the program throughout the city.

Inside Townsville City Council's CCTV control room