Mike Stevens | Aug 13, 2010

The Queensland Government has proposed that operation of the state's speed camera vans be given over to private companies, freeing about 10,000 hours of police time.

Police Minister Neil Roberts said the plan is one option being presented to the Queensland Police Union (QPU) today in a bid to resolve a long-running wages dispute.

Mr Roberts said Queensland is the only state to have its mobile speed cameras operated exclusively by police officers, and the proposed change could allow a better wages outcome than the 7.5 percent increase currently on offer. The union is seeking a 12.5 percent increase.

"Currently all the mobile speed camera operations are done on overtime," Mr Roberts told the ABC.

"They're generally not done during normal office hours, so it's on overtime rates so being able to employ civilians would be a significant cost saving."

QPU President Ian Leavers has rejected the idea however, saying that the fact that the cameras are operated during overtime hours means very little rostered police time would actually be recovered.

"Police work the speed cameras on overtime - not on their rostered shift," Mr Leavers said. "The proposal will not put more police on the beat."

"To civilianise speed cameras is not going to fund an offer above 2.5 per cent - the funds saved would only be a drop in the ocean."

Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser told press today that he is confident of a good outcome, but said that if either party refused to budge, the Industrial Commission would have to step in.

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