By Mark Morri, Daily Telegraph
NSW police will refuse to help the Federal Government seize assets from organised crime figures as part of a planned stop work campaign in a dispute over the taxing of their insurance and superannuation contributions.
They will also not support federal police on pre-planned operations involving search warrants, high-risk arrests or appear as witnesses in Commonwealth court cases.
“We will not withdraw our services where there are life-threatening operations such as a terrorism threat, nor will we not co-operate if they need our help with major drug seizures,” Police Association of NSW Secretary Pat Gooley said.
From June 30, the federal police will be forced to transport their own officers from Canberra to carry out search warrants or other tasks they often enlist NSW police to carry out.
NSW cops will also not give evidence in Commonwealth court matters which will have a major impact on prosecutions, with many of the Commonwealth DPP relying on NSW police evidence. It could result in a large number of cases being adjourned.
At the heart of the dispute is NSW police are covered by a mandatory Death and Disability insurance policy with the premium “washed” through the officers’ superannuation account but then taken straight out and paid to the insurance company. The officer does not receive any of the money which is simply an arrangement to pay the insurance company but the Federal Government counts it as a contribution to the officer’s superannuation.
“It effectively falsely inflates their income and tax bills denying them means-based support entitlements like parental leave, childcare rebates, child support, and health rebates,” Mr Gooley said.
“This does appear complicated on paper, but the legislative fix is so simple which would stop our members being financially punished for what is a simple banking transaction,” he said.
He said their actions are not directed at the Australian Federal Police but at the government over its failure to deliver what it had promised.
Mr Gooley said the Labor government had promised the association for the past year the legislation would be changed to resolve the problem, but it still is to go before parliament.
The association said it approached, and has the support, of David Shoebridge from the Greens, Jacqui Lambie, the Liberal and National parties as well as most NSW-based Federal ALP members.
“Taking this action is a last resort but we see no alternative with many of our members, particularly working and single mothers being adversely affected,” he said.
Reproduced from the Daily Telegraph