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$2.9 million for NSW Police to increase protection on the waterfront

Minister for Justice

$2.9 million for NSW Police to increase protection on the waterfront

Joint media release

The Hon Michael Keenan MP
Minister for Justice

The Hon Stuart Ayres MP
New South Wales Minister for Police and Emergency Services

2 July 2014

Funding confiscated from criminals will be returned to crime fighting on Sydney's waterfront, with the Commonwealth Government announcing today another $2.9 million boost for Operation Polaris Waterfront Taskforce.

Federal Minister for Justice Michael Keenan directed funding to New South Wales from the confiscated assets account, unlocking monies the former Labor Government used to prop up their dodgy budget instead of fighting crime.

"Operation Polaris is vital in the Coalition Government's ongoing commitment to detect and disrupt and undermine the business models of organised criminal syndicates. It is responsible for 62 arrests, 247 charges and the seizure of 75kgs pseudoephedrine, 61kgs cocaine, 9.9kgs methamphetamine, 2.7kgs cannabis, seven firearms and three stun guns," Mr Keenan said.

"Protecting the Australian waterfront is a fundamental to the security of our nation, and the involvement of NSW Police in the Operation Polaris Taskforce is critical to the ongoing success of the Taskforce," Mr Keenan said

The Polaris Waterfront Taskforce was established in July 2010. Its success has led to the implementation of the Trident Taskforce in Victoria and the Jericho Taskforce in Queensland.

"The Polaris Taskforce has been successful in identifying significant vulnerabilities in the criminal supply chain and has achieved major seizures of drugs, guns and other contraband resulting in numerous arrests and the disruption of organised crime syndicates," Mr Keenan said.

The Polaris Taskforce represents a united effort by Commonwealth and NSW law enforcement to combat the threat of serious and organised crime activity on Sydney's Waterfront.

NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services Stuart Ayres says the Federal Government's funding is vital to the continuing success of Polaris Joint Waterfront Taskforce and the ability to leverage of each agency's unique powers and resources.

"The NSW Police Force has had a significant role in this multi-agency taskforce, which has proven highly successful both in terms of operational results and equally important, the identification of maritime vulnerabilities in the public and private sector and of prevention strategies to combat serious and organised crime." Mr Ayres said.

This additional funding will be paid out of the Confiscated Assets Account and will enable NSW Police to continue its participation in the Taskforce for a further 12 months.