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Date: Thursday 13 July 2023

Government fails the protectors of our community

The Board of Directors of the WA Police Union has begrudgingly accepted the third and final Industrial Agreement offer from the Commissioner of Police presented last month.

The State Government may tell the community the Police Force do a great job, and that they are thankful for them, however this offer was not reflective of that. Hollow words served up with an offer that does not acknowledge their continued hard work to serve and protect the people of this state.

WAPU estimates that a record number of sworn officers resigned and retired from WA Police Force in 2022-23. Some 417 officers resigned, and 99 officers retired in the 12 months to 30 June. This resulted in the worst attrition rate for sworn officers since 1969-70.

The rate of sworn officers to population in 2022-23 was also the lowest in 10 years. More importantly, this rate has generally been declining over the last 30 years.

These gaps have been filled by our remaining officers working extra shifts ensuring our service to the community proceeds. Our officers are fatigued, burnt out, it is no wonder that there is a high number of officers defecting to a less stressful, low impact career.

Police Officers are not your normal public sector workers, they put themselves in harm’s way without hesitation. The recent death of a member of our Blue Family is a stark reminder of the high intensity and danger involved in this job.

“When we advocated for time away from the rigorous hours of policing, the government remained ignorant of our calls for help. Our members face assaults constantly, they are spat on, kicked, punched and more, because they are doing their job. It takes a strong and determined individual to put up with that, day after day”, President Paul Gale says.

“In December, our members emphatically rejected the second offer to them, today, we have an agitated and exhausted membership who are tired of the continued negotiation that has yielded an offer that fails to recognise their efforts and assist them in this current economic climate.

“A testament to the exhaustion our membership is feeling is the participation rate of our members on this vote. It was 51.8%, meaning almost half did not bother to vote, already prepared for the dire outcome. Of the 51.8%, 57% voted ‘YES’ and 43% voted ‘NO’.

“Today, we move forward, in hope the new Premier, Hon. Roger Cook MLA, listens to our members over the next 12 months and properly acknowledges the role of Police Officers.

“So now, I call on Premier Cook to demonstrate to our members their worth, no more words, we want action”, Mr Gale says.



Reney Omar – M: 0484 135 951 or E: reney.omar@wapu.org.au