The State Government has been called on to improve police services and the condition of the Mary Valley Highway.

Member for Gympie Tony Perrett said that the Government can no longer ignore the needs of high growth areas such as the Mary Valley.

According to the 2016 census the Mary Valley population has grown to almost 6,500 – even more if you count visitors and tourists.

People are moving in, significant investment is going on, and crowds of tourists are visiting.

While there are two police officers stationed at the Imbil Police Station there are long periods of time when only one is operating there.

It has a good Neighbourhood Watch program in the Imbil Rural Watch which has strong connections and liaison with the police and community.

However, it doesn’t replace a police presence.

We need to be ahead of the game instead of playing catch up.

The Imbil Police Station needs upgrading and additional police personnel.

I’ve raised this in Parliament during in February and again this month and have asked the Police Minister a Question on Notice on when additional police personnel be provided at Imbil police station.*

Government can no longer ignore the needs of high growth regions like Gympie.

The strategies to attract people to come to and visit the Mary Valley have meant that there are more than 500 properties in the area which have gone back into private ownership.

They’ve been bought back from the State Government after the failed Traveston Dam project.

The evidence is there in front of you.

It’s busy all the time not just on weekends.

Even on weekdays it’s crawling with people.

On top of that the population swells during holiday and peak tourist season and with attractions and events such as the Borumba Dam, Gympie Music Muster, Mitchell Creek Rock ‘N Blues Fest.

I also told the Parliament that it needs to upgrade state-controlled roads such as the Mary Valley Highway.

Late last year I asked the Minister for Roads a question on notice and have raised it in speeches. **

The Government needs to tell us the timeframes and plans, including overtaking lanes to upgrade these roads.

The Mary Valley Highway safety upgrade report which was due last year must be publicly released.

These upgrades and improvements are too important for the Government to ignore, Mr Perrett said.