THINGS can move quickly in politics, as the numerous federal leadership spills of the past few years have revealed.
So it was when temporary fencing sprouted around Karuah police station before NSW Police Minister Troy Grant’s announcement on Tuesday evening that it would be rebuilt in a $1 million overhaul.
Even the area’s police were not aware it was coming, finding themselves unable to access the existing building. It also appeared to many residents in Tea Gardens that their police station, the subject of great fascination from the state’s leader and its community alike mid-year, was also looking at another big change.
Some of the gloss may have come off the Myall community’s surprise, though, when it was delivered by an artist’s impression hanging on hoarding outside the Marine Drive premises and seemed to conflict with a plan announced in June, when Premier Gladys Berejiklian herself visited Tea Gardens.
Ms Berejiklian said at the time an upgrade worth $1 million was on the way, the same amount confirmed for Karuah’s station this week.
But an artist’s impression on the fence at Tea Gardens this week seemed to make it clear that it was discussing a new structure, not an improvement to the existing weatherboard station.
That was rejected by Port Stephens MLC Catherine Cusack who said the station would be upgraded as had been previously announced.
“[The artwork] is awkward, I’m sorry, but the station is going to be redeveloped exactly as the Premier said it would be,” she said.
Where the artist’s impression came from then remains a mystery.
With the march on to March’s election, it is surprising that any positive change to plans would not be trumpeted by those who will contest that poll.
The idea that plans can change so suddenly, and apparently with little community input in that process, is equally concerning to residents.
Many residents would likely go without the skillion roof if it meant they could see another officer in the popular holiday destination before summer arrives.
The only loss seems to be for residents who wanted to have a say on the plan and where the money would do most good.