NSW POLICE OFFICERS WITHDRAW ASSISTANCE FROM ACT POLICE IN INDUSTRIAL ACTION ESCALATION AGAINST FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
NSW police officers will withdraw assistance from ACT Policing, escalating industrial action against the Federal Government over a failure to fix a longstanding tax issue that is preventing police officers from saving superannuation for their retirement.
Under industrial action commenced by the Police Association of NSW on 30 June, NSW police withdrew their support from Commonwealth Agencies including the Australian Federal Police, ASIO, Border Force, and the Australian Attorney-General’s Department but continued to assist ACT Policing.
“We have gone out of our way to keep assisting ACT police officers because we see them as the same as us; hard working men and women that risk their lives on every shift to protect their community. But something’s got to give.” Police Association of NSW Secretary Pat Gooley said.
Under the escalated industrial action, from Saturday 12 August:
• NSW police officers will not serve any documents or process on behalf of any Commonwealth Agency – that most frequently being ACT Policing
• NSW police officers will not assist in cross border operations, surge operations or public order operations
• Federal Police Prisoners will be accepted by NSW police officers, but they will not charge them.
• All exchanges of information will cease with any agency, save for the risk of immediate harm.
• In addition, NSW police officers will be far stricter in the application of the previous guidelines including (but not limited to) not assisting in the controlled delivery of substituted illicit drugs or other items, executing search warrants or other process including arrest where there is no need for a specialist tactical resource, involvement in Commonwealth investigations, transporting AFP prisoners and more.
“Our members will still provide assistance where it involves the safety or welfare of a person, but outside of that, we have to withdraw our assistance,” said Gooley.
"The Federal Government have been on notice since July last year and will need to forward deploy resources to address the shortfall left by NSW Police withholding services."
“We hope Katy Gallagher fixes this problem as soon as possible so we can once again help our brothers and sisters in blue in the ACT.”
The unprecedented industrial action was undertaken when the Federal Government failed to resolve a tax problem that hits police officers with hugely inflated tax bills, preventing them from making superannuation contributions and denying access to essential support like childcare rebates, child support, parental leave and health rebates.
Because policing is so dangerous, police officers in NSW are covered by a mandatory Death and Disability insurance policy. The Federal Government counts those insurance premiums as contributions to police officers’ superannuation, even though that money is taken straight out to be paid to the insurance company.
This has a disproportionate effect on female police officers and police officers with children, in particular single mothers.
Failure by the Federal Labor Government to fix the issue by end of financial year has meant police officers across NSW have started receiving tax bills inflated by thousands of dollars.
“Finance Minister Katy Gallagher has refused to meet with representatives of NSW police officers since the inception of this issue.” PANSW Secretary Pat Gooley said.
“Other Ministers in this Government are astounded by the Minister for the Public Service refusing to meet with the police who have been forced to take industrial action against her public service.”
“It’s disgraceful. She is too busy to meet with the frontline police officers to whom Ms Gallagher’s Government just sent hugely inflated tax bills. Ironically, the cost of a single seat at Ms Gallagher’s upcoming fundraiser luncheon would just about cover the tax bill of a policewoman for this financial year.”