SEN-CONSTABLE Andrew Green was filling up his patrol car at a petrol station at Corryong when the owner took one look at him and said; “So you’re the new copper from Walwa.”
When you’re the new cop in a small town, everyone in the district will know about it.
But if it’s for a one-man station in a town of 300 like Walwa, well, expect most to know who you are, where you’ve come from and what you have for breakfast — before you’ve even moved there.
“The bush telegraph is phenomenal, it just amazed me,” Sen-Constable Green said.
In a world of high-tech policing, old-school policing reigns in the one-man stations. There are about 90 across country Victoria.
Officers in charge can gain a loyalty and love from their town, as did Walwa’s previous policeman, Leading Sen-Constable Stephen Harvey, who was killed in February, electrocuted by a generator.
His successor knows he’s got big shoes to fill.
“The town loved him,” he said.
Sen-Constable Green, 49, moved from Mansfield to Walwa last month, captivated by the region’s beauty the draw of the one-man station.
“It’s the community really, that’s the best side of it,” he said.
“You’re your own boss and if there are any problems in the community you’ve got to make a decision, you’re the man on the spot — it tests you.”
Sen-Constable Green, father of two adult children, has moved to Walwa with his partner, a real estate agent.
By now, everyone seems to know they have a cat called Flash.
That’s not surprising as a steady stream of Walwa residents have been dropping by.