Police Association calls for significant funding to maintain and replace police housing in the bush

This is what one member encounters when they turn on their tap.

Cops in regional and rural NSW are being forced to live in unmaintained and sometimes dangerous accommodation – an issue the Police Association of NSW is contributing to retention and attraction issues in some country areas.

The Police Association of NSW is calling for whichever party wins government this weekend to make a significant investment in police housing as the incentive for officers to work in regional and remote areas.

Officers are placed in police housing, now managed by Property NSW, when they are required to work in a regional or remote area on a long-term but not permanent basis.

PANSW President Kevin Morton said officers have raised serious concerns with the standards of housing they have been provided.

“We should not have a situation where officers are asked to up their lives to go bush and be forced to accept substandard living arrangements,” Mr Morton said. 

“Serving in a remote community is an important role but emergency services workers should not have to live in unmaintained properties which puts their health at risk. 

Among the housing concerns raised are reports of peeling lead paint, brown water, cracks in the walls, uneven flooring, mould and damp. 

Some of the key areas of concern are police houses in Moree, Collie, Binnaway, Bourke, Walgett and Walcha. 

“Police officers should have the same standard of housing available to any other public sector worker who is entitled to housing, regardless of whether it is in metropolitan or regional NSW.

“Many police love working in regional and rural communities throughout the state, but they shouldn’t be forced to sacrifice having safe and clean housing in order to work there. 

“We’re asking the next NSW Government to make a significant increase in funding to Property NSW to maintain the existing stock and replace housing which is no longer fit for purpose to ensure all police housing is of a suitable standard,” said Mr Morton