President's Message June 2017

LINDT CAFÉ SIEGE INQUEST

At time of publication and two and a half years after the incident, we are still awaiting the findings to be delivered by the State Coroner, Magistrate Michael Barnes.

This is one of the longest running inquests in NSW history.

With the findings handed down on 24 May I still feel it’s timely to reflect on what I wrote in the October 2016 Police News editorial because the words are sadly more pertinent now:

“Police have been subjected to ill-informed commentary from armchair critics, self-appointed experts and some politicians regarding the Inquest into the Lindt Café siege.

“Side-line critics were lining up to condemn Police actions during the siege and its aftermath; they were well and truly primed by the time the inquiry entered its final stage earlier this year.

“We decided to publicly comment with a PANSW opinion piece, ‘Lindt siege inquest is the wrong approach’ in the Daily Telegraph. We call out the so-called critics and commentary surrounding this inquest which has unfairly tarnished the reputation of the Force, but particularly the officers who were prepared to face being shot and blown up to rescue the hostages.”

Excerpt from Police News editorial October 2016.

There are always lessons to be learned from any police operation, however, these incidents and any future terror-related attacks should be reviewed with similar expediency as seen with terrorist events in Europe.

We will continue to advocate for a system which provides for an expeditious judicial review process conducted by a specially trained Supreme Court judge.

This would deliver procedural fairness, natural justice and the maintenance of the rule of law, while ensuring police methodology, police tactics and public safety are not compromised.

Your Association fully supports the Police involved who acted with little to no regard for their own safety, while making life and death decisions in a dynamic operational environment dealing with a criminal who was presumed to be armed with a bomb. There is only one person to blame for this incident.

DAVID CARTY & DOUG EATON REMEMBERED

In April, myself and PANSW Vice President, Pat Gooley joined Commissioner Michael Fuller APM, Minister for Police, Troy Grant, local police officers, friends and family of Constable David Carty in a moving ceremony at Fairfield Police Station to mark the 20th anniversary of David’s death.

At approximately 8pm on 17 April 1997, Constable Carty and another officer were on foot patrol together when they spoke to several people in the street at Fairfield.

The following morning, Constable Carty was set upon by several offenders, including those he had spoken to earlier in the evening whilst on duty.

During the vicious attack Constable Carty suffered numerous stab wounds and other injuries

It doesn’t get any easier for Fairfield police officers who remember their colleague as a country boy who came to Sydney to fulfil his dream of becoming a police officer. Memories of the vicious murder remain vivid in the hearts of his colleagues, friends and family and his death remains painful for the police community.

On 30 April, we marked 40 years since Senior Constable Doug Ronald Eaton QPM was fatally shot on duty. At the time, he was investigating a burglar alarm at the Toronto Country Club, together with Senior Constable Gill.

Doug was a fine and a brave policeman, a shining light in his community. It’s truly fitting that we keep his memory alive and honour his sacrifice.

AWARD 2017 UPDATE

The current Police Award expires on 30 June 2017. Your Association is in negotiations with the NSW Police Force (NSWPF) and the NSW Government. We will continue to negotiate to improve members’ pay, conditions, entitlements and modernise the Award.

All NSW Government agencies are bound by the State Government Wages Policy which places a 2.5% wages cap on salaries, inclusive of superannuation contributions, with any increases above the 2.5% to come from employee related savings. This has been strictly enforced by government and

the Industrial Relations Commission since the introduction of legislation in 2011.

We have consulted widely and our position is we will not accept any tradeoffs to pay and conditions. This includes no changes to our exemption to amendments to the workers compensation legislation, Death and Disability and the continuation of the subsidy for the FSS Default units of TPD Insurance.

Consistent with our long-standing approach, we want to maintain and improve what we have achieved.

We are striving for a new Award with pay increases and further improvements for frontline workers.

Our main aim is to secure a pay increase of at least 2.5% per annum without trade-offs. Conference Delegates and your Executive have identified a range of additional priority improvements should the negotiations present opportunities for more to be achieved.

The NSWPF has also indicated they wish to hold discussions around re‑engineering, the allocation of police resources and the possibility of an optional disengagement scheme.

The process is underway and we will continue to keep members updated as the negotiations progress.

 

Tony King

Acting President

 

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