Police still waiting for action

Medically retired officer David Nelson. Picture: David Baylis        
Medically retired officer David Nelson. Picture: David Baylis        

The union released Project Recompense to highlight the need for a compensation scheme for medically retired police officers and is urging action.

There were 14 recommendations to the government to provide officers cover because they were exempt from the Workers� Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981.

WAPU president George Tilbury said the government had left police without workers� compensation for too long.

�Police officers in Western Australia are the only officers in the country not covered by workers� compensation,� he said. �Officers should be fairly compensated for any injuries sustained during work.�

Medically Retired WA Police Officer Association secretary David Nelson was medically retired as a 33-year-old senior constable in 1993.

He was diagnosed with work-attributed post traumatic stress disorder in August this year, which means the State Insurance Commission Risk Cover will finally cover related medical expenses. The diagnosis came after years of flashbacks.

�When people are retired medically with psychological issues, we never work again and the people left to pick up the pieces are our families,� he said.

Police Minister Liza Harvey said WA Police were looking in to a compensation scheme.

�WA Police is looking at issues around the establishment of a comprehensive workers� compensation scheme,� she said.

Ms Harvey said the State Government supported officers.

�The Government looks after its police officers; it was this government that introduced the retired officers medical expenses scheme, mandatory sentencing for assaulting a police officer, and mandatory blood testing of offenders who bite and spit at police,� she said.

Mr Nelson said more needed to be done.

�This system abandons you. We are sick of police fighting for sick police,� he said.