The 2018/19 NSW budget will include $13.5 million to build a new police station in Cessnock.
Police minister Troy Grant made the funding announcement in Cessnock on Saturday.
The existing station will be demolished, to be replaced with a state-of-the-art station fit for current and future needs.
The budget allocation will allow the final planning and development approvals to occur.
Mr Grant said the community had been calling for a new police station and the government has listened.
“Community safety is my number one priority and that means ensuring our frontlines officers have every resource possible to help them do their jobs,” Mr Grant said.
“Once built the new station will further boost the capability of local hard-working men and women in blue and provide them with modern facilities and equipment to prevent and disrupt crime and keep the community safe.”
A project team will be assembled on-site, consulting with local police to make sure they have input into the design, layout and functionality.
“It will be built for the future, fit for purpose, and will not only house the different disciplines in policing, it will have the capacity for additional police and types of functions,” Mr Grant said.
“Importantly, it will be built to modern standards to house the amazing technology that police utilise to do their job, day in, day out.”
The funding announcement came just eight months after the minister said there were “no current plans” to build a new police station in Cessnock.
Mr Grant, a former police detective who was stationed at Cessnock in the mid-90s, said the announcement gave him “enormous pride”.
“The NSW Government is committed to ensuring police have the best equipment available to do their jobs no matter where they’re stationed throughout the state,” Mr Grant said.
“Having previously worked at the Cessnock Police Station during my time in the force, I’m pleased to be able to support the community and provide funding to kick-start the development of the new multi-million dollar facility.
“I used to work here 23 years ago, and the joint is well past its use-by date.
“It hasn’t changed, it’s gotten worse and is now dilapidated.
“I congratulate the local police for calling on the government to get our act together; it’s an investment long overdue but its a very worthwhile one and I’m very proud of it.”
Mr Grant, a National Party MP, thanked Cessnock’s Labor MP Clayton Barr for his advocacy for the local police.
Mr Barr said he was pleased to see the needs of police and the Cessnock community put above politics.
“Our police need to know that message is clear, so no matter who’s in government, no matter who’s controlling the Treasury books, that police will get what they need to do their job,” he said.
“Undoubtedly, our hard-working police will benefit enormously from the new station, bringing them into more modern policing structure and techniques, and helping make the community safer than it already is.”
Officer-in-charge at Cessnock Police Station, Chief Inspector Dave Robinson said it was fantastic news for the police and the community.
“The police that work here deserve it, and more importantly the community of Cessnock – with its growing population and its hard-working people – deserves this as well,” he said.
“I applaud the government, and the minister. This is a great outcome for the people of Cessnock.”
Police Association of NSW Cessnock branch spokesperson Brian Neville said the new station was exciting news for the community.
“It’s great to get that commitment,” he said.
Watch the full announcement in the video below.