Supporting the wellbeing and mental health of our police officers

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

Supporting the wellbeing and mental health of our police officers

9 June 2022

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is committed to keeping our communities safe, and particularly supporting our hardworking police officers. 

Due to our Government’s targeted investments and focus on tackling crime, Tasmania is one of the safest places to live and raise a family.

When Labor lost Government in 2014, Tasmania was left with fewer police officers than when Labor first came to office 16 years before in 1998.

This is Labor’s legacy. They slashed Tasmania Police and between 2011 and 2013 alone they cut 108 police officers.

We are rebuilding police numbers from these drastic days by recruiting 329 additional police officers, which puts us on track to bring Tasmania to its highest ever establishment of 1,449 by July 2026. These additional police officers are allowing the establishment of safe staffing numbers at all of our 24/7 police stations.

Labor simply has no credibility when it comes to the health and safety of our police officers.

In 2008, Labor blocked a proposal put forward by the Liberal Government to ensure that Tasmanian police officers injured in the line of duty received equitable worker’s compensation.

In stark contrast, our Government is working hard to support our police officers, and we have invested $7.5 million to date, with $3 million every year embedded in the Budget to support their mental health and wellbeing.

This funding allows for additional services, such as psychologists and counselling, and ensures that all our emergency service personnel and volunteers are able to receive the support that they require from the Health and Wellbeing Program.

We know that emergency services personnel are exposed to challenging incidents including being confronted by situations most of us are never likely to experience and this can impact their mental and physical health.  We also removed workers compensation step down provisions for police officers and introduced nation-leading legislation for presumptive PTSD.

Labor cared so little about Tasmania Police officer’s health and wellbeing that they allowed police houses to rot and forced our hard-working police to live in sub-standard accommodation. In comparison we are investing $21.7 million to upgrade 67 police houses across the State to ensure contemporary, secure and comfortable homes.

In comparison, The Government is providing state of the art facilities and equipment to ensure our police officers have contemporary and comfortable accommodation and accouterments including:

  • Deployed 812 body worn cameras to general uniform policing units;
  • Strengthened laws regarding assaults on police;
  • Funding 20 new police for a full-time Special Operations Group, and $400,000 since 2018-19 for equipment they need for the roles;
  • Building new police stations;
  • Delivered new $5 million New Norfolk Police Station and $5 million Longford Police Station;
  • Established the Crime and Intelligence Command to tackle emerging crime trends, organised crime and incorporating the cold case unit
  • Significant investments to improve Tasmania Police’s information technology systems to further enhance policing and protect our officers, including;
  • Implemented the $17.27 million Emergency Services Computer Aided Dispatch (ESCAD) system, to provide an integrated system for all emergency services
  • Implemented a new state of the art Triple Zero System with funding of $6.75 million;
  • Providing $6.2 million to replace the Department’s automatic vehicle location systems to ensure officer safety on the job;
  • $59.1 million towards the upgrade of information technology systems, including for Atlas and Project Unify;
  • $860,000 on drone technology, to crackdown on antisocial driving;
  • $760,000 for the rollout of new Glock pistols over three years;
  • $500,000 to scope the Emergency Dispatching, Messaging and Alerting Project;
  • Implementing the $567 million Tasmanian Government Radio Network, with migration to the new network on track for completion in 2023;
  • Removed police from Launceston and North West courts;
  • Implemented the Country Police Station Relief Policy with $2.65m invested already and $10.6 million funding over the forward estimates; and;
  • $24.6 million for the Large Vessel Replacement Program.

While Labor continue to play politics with such a serious issue, the Liberal Government will continue our unprecedented investments in Tasmania Police, and the wellbeing of our officers, to ensure they can continue their important work of keeping Tasmanians safe.

While Labor continue to play politics with such a serious issue, the Liberal Government will continue our unprecedented investments in Tasmania Police, and the wellbeing of our officers, to ensure they can continue their important work of keeping Tasmanians safe. 

2022-23 Budget investing to continue keeping Tasmanians safe

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

2022-23 Budget investing to continue keeping Tasmanians safe

1 June 2022

Tasmania is one of the safest places to live and raise a family because of the Tasmanian Liberal Government’s commitment to tackling crime and investing in our emergency services. 

The 2022-23 Tasmanian Budget is delivering for all Tasmanians, and continues our unprecedented investment, including capital funding of $106.8 million, plus $18 million in other funding initiatives to provide the infrastructure and systems that our emergency services rely on.

We are investing in a further 21 additional police officers, meaning we are recruiting 329 new officers, a 31 per cent increase in policing numbers since we came to Government. This means Tasmania Police will have a record 1,449 police officers by July 2026.
 
Importantly, $15.1 million over two years will be provided to establish pilot Multidisciplinary Centres in the North and the South of Tasmania that will provide wrap around support to victim-survivors of family and sexual violence, and will also fund 15 of the new officers.

The Budget also invests $3.7 million over four years to upgrade our forensic scientific instruments to provide higher levels of result accuracy, assisting with prosecutions, and to increase the storage capacity of forensic exhibits which will mean that victim-survivors of sexual violence can report to police when they feel ready.

To ensure our emergency service workers are safe when on the job, the 2022-23 Budget also includes:

  • $6.2 million to replace automatic vehicle location systems, ensuring emergency vehicles are able to be located, wherever they are in our community;
  • $500,000 for the Emergency Dispatching, Messaging and Alerting Project to ensure emergency services have communication infrastructure that enables them to respond in all environments and terrains;
  • $460,000 for continued usage of drone technology to help bring offenders to justice and to help crack down on hooning;
  • $760,000  for Tasmania Police to replace their glock pistols;
  • $10.6 million for the Country Police Station Relief Policy; and
  • $3 million for the Health and Wellbeing Program.

The President of the Police Association of Tasmania has welcomed all of these Budget commitments stating: “these commitments will help protect the Tasmanian community, assist in the safety of our members and make the State of Tasmania safer.”
 
We are also providing  $121 million across the forward estimates for Bushfire and Flood prevention including:

  • $11.95 million annually for our nation-leading Fuel Reduction Program;
  • $640,000 for volunteers to gain firefighting skills in remote areas, on top of the $2.3m already invested;
  • $1.75 million to continue the roll-out of mission-critical equipment to our SES and TFS volunteers;
  • $2 million to continue our highly successful volunteer grants program;
  • $210,000 for automated sandbag filling machines to increase the SES’s capability to respond to floods;
  • $420,000 for our SES to purchase new rescue vehicles and a storm trailer to provide our SES with the equipment that they need to respond to emergencies at our new $12 million state of the art Sorell Emergency Services Hub which will be complete in early 2023.

Our Government is the strongest supporter of Tasmania’s fantastic emergency services responders, in contrast to Labor who lost the election in 2014 and left Tasmania with fewer police officers than when Labor had first came to office 16 years before in 1998.

This was Labor’s legacy and it seems nothing has changed.

Just yesterday, Rebecca White made it clear that Labor has no plan, no alternative budget, and no vision for Tasmania.

In contrast the Tasmanian Liberal Government is focused on strengthening Tasmania’s future, and making Tasmania’s priorities our priorities.

Keeping our police officers on the beat in rural and regional communities

Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

Keeping our police officers on the beat in rural and regional communities

8 August 2021

The new Country Police Station Relief Policy has now commenced as part of the Tasmanian Liberal Government’s plan to keep Tasmanians safe.

In the upcoming 2021-22 Budget, the Government will provide funding of $10.6 million over four years to fully fund the Policy which provides a consistent state-wide approach to relieving our officers in regional and remote communities.

We know that Tasmania is one of the safest places to live and our crime rates are reflective of this, and this new Policy will enhance response and service provision for our remote and rural communities.

It will also ensure that there is a consistent statewide approach to relieving our officers in regional and remote communities when they take leave.

Tasmania Police has 25 police stations that are deemed rural or remote including Richmond, Nubeena, Dunalley, Orford, Triabunna, Swansea, Bicheno, Oatlands, Liawenee, Bothwell and Kempton, Maydena, Hamilton, Bushy Park, St Mary’s, Fingal, Dover, Geeveston, Cygnet, Woodbridge, Rosebery, Zeehan, Waratah, Strahan, Alonnah.

Measures like this complement the Government’s strong commitment to boosting our police numbers to the highest number in Tasmania Police’s history, supporting our officers mental health and wellbeing and ensuring they have the resources available to keep our communities safe.