WORK to the Gunnedah Police Station upgrade commenced with a sod-turning ceremony on Friday.
The first stage of the project will consist of constructing an administration building adjacent to the current police station on Abbott St, before upgrading the existing station.
NSW police minister, Troy Grant, said the Gunnedah Police Station is in dire need of an upgrade.
“There’s no doubt the Gunnedah Police Station is well past its used by date,” Mr Grant said.
“It has served us well for many, many decades, but it is long overdue for a new station.”
Mr Grant said demolition work is expected to commence immediately and the project is expected to be finished by the end of 2018.
“The project is in a couple of stages,” he said.
“Work will start on the site we are on right now, there will be some demolition work that will start from today.
“What will happen is the new administration component of the building will be placed here, as well as some temporary cells and other facilities.
“Demolition of the current police station will occur and at that point police members will move over to the new completed building to ensure there is no disruption to service.
“The whole project is looking to be finished by the end of next year.”
Oxley Police acting superintendent Jeff Budd said the new facility was “fantastic for Gunnedah”.
“What this means is that the police that protect Gunnedah will have a fantastic work environment,” he said.
“It’s a great investment for Gunnedah, the police in Gunnedah and the whole community.”
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said the project will begin a new era for Gunnedah.
“Today signals a new era for community safety in Gunnedah,” Mr Anderson said.
“Our local police do an incredible job on the beat and behind the scenes, preventing and disrupting crime.”
Gunnedah Shire Council Deputy Mayor Gae Swain said the community was excited for the upgrade.
“From the community’s perspective we are very excited,” Cr Swain said.
“It is something we have been waiting for, for a long time and it will be a great addition to Gunnedah.”
Helping kick off the multi million dollar project was police minister Troy Grant, Minister for early education and aboriginal affairs Sarah Mitchell, Gunnedah Shire Council deputy mayor, Gae Swain, Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson and Acting NSW Police superintendent Jeff Budd.