THE new police minister, Jack Dempsey, visited Gatton this week to review the operational strength of regional police stations and emergency services.
Mr Dempsey also toured the new jail at Gatton, which is now running at capacity, but more importantly for the residents of the Lockyer Valley, was checking on operational requirements of police services throughout the region in the company of Assistant Police Commissioner Paul Wilson, Toowoomba District Superintendent Matthew Vanderbyl and Member for Lockyer Ian Rickuss.
"(This) gives the minister a first-hand look to make decisions," Assistant Commissioner Wilson said.
Top of the wish list for all regional police stations is a more police, which Mr Dempsey said would be achieved in the short term with the release of 200 more police back to operational duties instead of working in administrative positions.
The Lockyer Valley was identified as one of the biggest population growth corridors in the state.
"We have identified shortages across particular regions," Mr Dempsey said.
Mr Dempsey said the south-east corner of Queensland had been identified as a particular area of need, with 300 graduates from the police academy going directly to boost numbers in the south-east corner, with the Gold Coast earmarked for 100 of the new police as a priority.
Mr Dempsey blamed the Bligh government for shortages in all emergency services across the board in regional Queensland, as bureaucratic red tape made life difficult for police on the frontline.
"There has been too much waste in the past," Mr Dempsey said.
"It beggars belief with the lack of decision-making from the past."
Ian Rickuss identified as a priority the establishment of a stand-alone transport department to take care of drivers' licences and minor traffic and registration requirements, which would immediately free up more police for operational duties.