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DATE: May 15, 2019

The WA Police Union believes that the real risk for regional communities is not the current number of vacancies but the potential of further ones, following the State Opposition’s release of the WA Police Force’s authorised strength data in regional areas.

WA Police Union President Harry Arnott said police officers will leave the bush and others consider not transferring in their place unless the State Government addresses the Government Regional Officer Housing (GROH) issue.

Following a $30 per week increase on 1 July 2017, police officers were forced to pay another $1,560 per year for their GROH rent from 1 July 2018. Officers in regional areas have received a $2,000 pay increase over past two years however, the Government has increased their rents by $3,120, leaving them $560 per year worse off.

“We have received feedback from Members in regional areas who are concerned that the rent increases will create further vacancies throughout rural WA,” Mr Arnott said.

“This situation will become absolutely dire unless the McGowan Government makes it more attractive to move to regional areas by rescinding the planned excessive $30 per week rent increase for 2019/20.

“We have been meeting with all State Members of Parliament and we have explained this very clearly and very simply.

“We have costed the State Government covering the GROH rent increase for police officers at approximately $1.2 million. The ball is now well and truly in the State Government’s court.”