It seems it can be a little challenging to convince Police to put their hands up to come to Geraldton. The Libs have said that "if" they get back in power, they'll push through an incentive to reward those that make the effort to relocate to Geraldton.
They haven't mentioned though whether actual numbers of Police on the ground in Geraldton will increase, but at least those here will be better remunerated.
Full press release follows:
A Liberal Government, if re-elected, will provide $10.5million of incentives to police officers to work in hard-to-fill regional locations such as Geraldton.
Police Minister Liza Harvey said the funding will be used over four years to assist WA Police in placing and retaining officers in Geraldton and other regional locations.
“Police officers posted to regional locations work in difficult situations, often with a more limited support network of colleagues and general amenities,” Mrs Harvey said.
Geraldton MLA and Liberal-candidate Ian Blayney said police officers posted to regional locations often face additional work stress when there are delays in filling vacancies alongside them.
“That is why providing incentives to attract and retain police officers in regional areas such as Geraldton will not only recognise the valuable service of these officers, it will also reduce the strain placed on officers in areas where hard to fill vacancies would otherwise exist,” Mr Blayney said.
He said the incentives will involve an initial attraction payment, and a further payment in recognition of more than 3.5 years of service at the location.
Mr Blayney said the amounts of these payments will depend on the location involved and the degree of difficulty in filling postings in that area. These include:
- For all regional postings - $2000 attraction payment
- For Geraldton and four other regional locations in the south - $4000 attraction payment
- For non-coastal locations with fully subsidised housing (excluding Kalgoorlie-Boulder, the Pilbara and the Kimberley) - $4000 attraction payment, $6000 retention payment
- For non-coastal locations without fully subsidised housing (excluding Kalgoorlie-Boulder, the Pilbara and the Kimberley) - $7000 attraction payment, $12,250 retention payment.
“These measures have been put together in recognition that officers who are currently working in the Kimberley and the Pilbara are offered incentives which have proven successful in attracting them to those regions,” Mr Blayney said.
“What is needed, however, are new incentives to attract and retain officers to other regions.”
In addition, Mr Blayney said a Liberal Government, if re-elected, will introduce legislation mandating blood-testing for offenders who bite, spit at, or otherwise attack police officers involving the transfer of blood or bodily fluids.
“These measures will provide peace of mind for police who face a challenging job and support those who choose to police our regional areas,” he said.