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Since January 2019, almost 70 members from around the State and various sections of the force have participated in our high-level training for PANSW Branch Officials.It gives me great pride to see so many members who are willing to put up their hand to support their colleagues and fellow PANSW members in the workplace. It is a job they take on in addition to the many demands of their police work, often sacrificing their precious personal time.The Branch Focus course is designed to equip Branch Officials with the skills to negotiate on behalf of their fellow officers, run campaigns on local issues, provide a range of information to members and assist in resolving disputes.It is delivered by our experienced staff who, during the past few months have travelled to locations ranging from Dubbo to Parramatta, Moree to Wollongong and Sydney for training and to attend Branch Forums. They’ll go wherever there’s a strong demand for the training and in so doing, build a strategic, organising union that’s relevant to the daily lives of our members.The PANSW is built on the combined strength of our members and many a local-level dispute run by a local branch official, has turned into a major campaign or industrial dispute with implications across the entire Force.We don’t agree about everything, but we have a way of coming together to address issues that matter. Our recent hard-fought Back the Blue campaign to address the gaping holes in Police resources across the State is a good example of this. Working with unity and using our strength as a profession, we achieved a great result—1,500 additional Police.This month, the first batch of the additional new recruits promised by the NSW Government over the next four years will begin their Police training. The extra police will go a long way towards ensuring members have the resources they need to keep the community safe and achieve a better work/life balance.
On 16 July, there will be a nation-wide release of Dark Blue, a movie that’s based on Australia-wide interviews with cops conducted by Dr John Schumann. Dark Blue was funded by the Proceeds of Crime Fund, through the Police Federation of Australia. It is part of a national mental health campaign to raise awareness of PTSD in Australian police forces. Dark Blue is not easy viewing; however we hope that it will start the conversation about mental injuries in the Force. In addition to starting the conversation on mental injury, we believe it’s critically important for our members to have access to the best possible treatment. The fact that the Workforce ImprovementProgram has been allocated recurrent funding of $3.9 million is testimony to its success. Similarly, we’ll be monitoring the report of the Phoenix Review to ensure that our members’ health and wellbeing is given priority.
Members, I’ve gone on record about the marked increase in violent attacks on police time and again. We know that 80% of all assaults on police are alcohol related. Prior to the alcohol laws beingintroduced in January 2014, assaults on police in Sydney and Kings Cross were on the rise. After the laws were implemented, assaults decreased. Overall, non-domestic assaults in Kings Cross have fallen by 50%. There’s been a 13% decrease in assaults in the Sydney CBD. That’s 30 fewer assaults every month since 2014. That’s 1,800 violent incidents police didn’t have to attend in a year; 1,800 fewer families given the bad news thattheir loved one has been assaulted in another drunken brawl.In 2016, the Callinan Review confirmed that the alcohol laws had achieved massive reductions in violence and injury, saving countless lives. Now, once again, the alcohol laws are being examined by a Parliamentary Committee.We’ve provided a submission to the Joint Select Committee on Sydney’s Night Time Economy and, along with the other members of the Last Drinks Coalition, we will be putting our case forward as strongly as we did to the Callinan Review.
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