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Gunnedah Shire residents urged to share crime experiences and ideas

26 March, 2024

Gunnedah Shire Council has welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement of a new Inquiry into Community Safety in Regional and Rural Communities, and urges community members to have their say.

Council supported a Country Mayors Association of NSW call for an inquiry following a dangerous increase in crime in regional and rural areas across the state.

Gunnedah Shire Mayor Jamie Chaffey said the statistics showed clearly there were disproportionate crime levels and fewer police resources in regional and rural New South Wales, and it was now up to community members to bring the full extent of the crisis to the attention of the State Government.

“It has been an enormous challenge to make this Inquiry a reality,” Cr Chaffey.

“This is a great first step and now that we have the attention of our Members of Parliament, it is up to us all to make sure that we are sharing our lived experience and any suggestions we have about how to stop the severity and instances of crime.

“We also need to make it clear that there is a real need for adequate support for both victims and perpetrators that will lead to a safer community. We need to share the importance of pro-active policing and a 24-hour police station in Gunnedah, a change that can only happen with an increase in police numbers.

“We also need to provide any other information that you feel our elected Members of Parliament need to understand when they are making decisions that will affect our confidence in our own safety.

“Whether you have been impacted by crime, know someone who has, whether you work or have previously worked in related services, or come from another state or country that has implemented great working strategies, you need to make your voice heard.

“We need Gunnedah Shire people to be outspoken on this critical issue. We want as many people as possible to seize this opportunity to let the NSW Government know what is happening in our community and help bring about real change.”

Cr Chaffey said he would be advocating for one of the Inquiry hearings to be held in Gunnedah Shire.

The terms of reference for the Inquiry into Community Safety in Regional and Rural Communities are that the Committee on Law and Safety inquire into and report on:

  1. the drivers of youth crime across regional and rural NSW, particularly since the COVID pandemic;
  2. how a whole of government approach can reduce the drivers and root causes of youth crime in regional and rural NSW;
  3. the wraparound and diversionary services available for youth and families in the regions and rural areas and how they can be better matched to individuals, measured, improved and integrated into a coordinated approach to divert youth from crime, having regard to the NSW Government's commitment to working in partnership with Aboriginal people;
  4. staffing levels and workforce issues, including police staffing, in regional and rural areas and how services can be improved to reduce youth crime in these areas;
  5. recidivism rates in regional and rural areas, and related impacts on the community, services and law enforcement;
  6. the range of functions being performed by NSW police officers, including mental health assistance and youth welfare, on behalf of other agencies in regional and rural areas, and the supports required to assist police; and
  7. any other related matter.

To send in your submission:

  • Online: Go to Community safety in regional and rural communities ( . You will be asked to:
    o fill in an initial page with your contact details
    o you will then be asked if you would like your submission to be confidential
    o the final page allows you to either upload your submission, or type it directly in.
  • Mail: You will need to include:
    o Your contact details
    o Whether you would like your submission to be confidential
    o Post to:
    Att: Edmond Atalla MP,
    Community Safety in Regional and Rural Communities Inquiry,
    c/- NSW Parliament House,
    6 Macquarie Street,
    SYDNEY NSW 2000

Submissions close on 31 May, 2024 and the Inquiry will report back in February 2025.

If you would like further assistance in putting in your submission, please contact our Customer Service Team on 6740 2100.

Caption: Gunnedah Shire Mayor Jamie Chaffey discusses regional crime with Shadow Minister for Police Paul Toole earlier this year.


For more information, contact Gunnedah Shire Council’s Communications team on (02) 6740 2100 or