THE Murtoa community will receive a new police station after a state government funding commitment.
The government has pledged $36.8 million in the 2016-17 budget to build new stations in regional Victoria.
Northern Grampians Inspector Ian Lindsay said he was pleased with the announcement and the upgrade was vital.
He said the Murtoa station was an old portable, similar to a classroom.
“It has been that way for 21 years,” he said.
Mr Lindsay said the upgrade would provide the community with a more contemporary building for the town’s officers.
He said he would like to see the Warracknabeal Police Station upgraded as well.
“We are still pushing for that station to be renewed - it’s a different form of upgrade though,” he said.
“While Murtoa is a standalone building, the Warracknabeal station is an old bank that was converted, so it needs a separate project.
“We will keep pushing for more support, but it just depends where it fits into the state government’s program.
“We always appreciate any station upgrades in the western district.”
Yarriambiack Mayor Ray Kingston said he was rapt with the announcement.
“The station is in desperate need of an upgrade” he said.
“The Murtoa community and residents in neighbouring towns are well aware that the station is inadequate.
“It’s an issue that has been on the radar for a long time.”
Cr Kingston said he hoped the state government would also consider upgrading Warracknabeal Police Station.
“The police in the region have made it clear that an upgrade is needed, so I hope we see money for that in the future,” he said.
Seven new stations will be built in regional Victoria and another 15 stations will be upgraded as part of the announcement.
The other new stations will be at Colac, Bright, Warburton, Mallacoota, Cowes and Corryong.
Acting Police Minister Robin Scott said it was a significant investment that would lead to more police working in modern, new stations throughout regional Victoria.