CCTV rollout under fire

Cameras aimed at fighting crime and protecting businesses are not working in the Blue Mountains, and the Labor MP for Macquarie blames a poor roll-out program by the Liberal party.

Macquarie MP Susan Templeman slammed the "poor quality CCTV program that the Liberals rolled out when they had the chance" at a recent candidates forum in Springwood.

Funding for now troubled CCTV: Former MP Louise Markus with Blaxland Chamber of Commerce president Jo Bromilow in 2015.

Funding for now troubled CCTV: Former MP Louise Markus with Blaxland Chamber of Commerce president Jo Bromilow in 2015.

"We don't have functioning CCTV in Wentworth Falls, Blaxland and Springwood's has fallen into disrepair," Ms Templeman said.

Blaxland Chamber of Commerce president Jo Bromilow confirmed the closed circuit television cameras on the Great Western Highway are not working.

"Blaxland's doesn't work because of the person that installed it," Ms Bromilow said. "It's got nothing to do with the Liberal Party, we thank them for the money and we are in the midst of taking the installer to court."

Ms Templeman said a number of Chambers, including Springwood, Blaxland and Wentworth Falls, had raised with her the problems with their existing systems.

"In Springwood's case, the CCTV system announced by Federal Labor and installed in 2011 is past its use-by date and has received no additional funding in the last six years, and Blaxland and Wentworth Falls have had serious problems with their recently funded programs," she said.

"The recent experience shows you can't do this on the cheap. In my view, there needs to be a collaborative approach with council and police, and contracts have to include funding for ongoing maintenance."


Liberal Party candidate for Macquarie, Sarah Richards, announced new funding for CCTV in Springwood and Katoomba last week.

When last in government, Labor funded a $100,000 project for Windsor which installed CCTV cameras and established the monitoring within the local police station.

"A system that continues to work well and has been expanded across the Hawkesbury," Ms Templeman added.

Ms Templeman said "the government has to hold contractors to account".

In 2015, Blaxland was given a grant of $150,000 for cameras by former MP Louise Markus under the Safer Streets Program. It was part of a $360,000 to install CCTV cameras in Blaxland, Wentworth Falls, at the Hazelbrook pedestrian overpass and at Peter Carroll Field in Leura.

Labor MP Bob Debus gave $77,000 to ensure 22 cameras were installed in Springwood in 2012. Within 12 months the cameras had helped local police investigate 25 incidents including an armed robbery and sexual assault. The system was designed so it did not invade people's privacy and was not monitored, rather recording information as data, accessible via a security code at the written request of police.