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 in 21 additional police officers to continue to keep Tasmanians safe

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

2022-23 Budget investing in 21 additional police officers to continue to keep Tasmanians safe

8 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.

In the 2022-23 Budget 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.

Tasmania Police continues to actively recruit in line with these commitments from government.  In 2021 alone we had 70 additional police officers graduating across three recruit courses and taking up roles on the front line.

Currently, we have 64 police recruits, 28 women and 36 men, in the Academy, including 40 who started in April and will graduate on 25 November this year. This course includes 16 recruits as part of our new northern satellite course. There are also 24 recruits who commenced on 1 November last year and graduate on 17 June this year. The next Academy Recruit Course commences on 1 August 2022 and the aim is to have 26 recruits in this course.

Our new northern satellite course means that recruits from the north and north-west of Tasmania can complete their 31-week training in the north of the state, without moving to Hobart to train at the Rokeby Police Academy.

And once they complete their training, the northern-based recruits will be stationed in their home districts, so they won’t need to move across the state for the job.

The recruitment progress for Tasmania Police is impressive and will take the establishment to the highest number of police officers in history.

Keeping Tasmanians Safe

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

Keeping Tasmanians Safe

Thursday, 24 June 2021

The Tasmanian Liberal Government has hit the ground running on delivering our Plan to Secure Tasmania’s Future, which will keep Tasmanians safe from crime and reduce the risk of bushfires in our communities. 

I have been privileged to visit our dedicated emergency service workers over the past month and see firsthand the incredible work they do in protecting and serving Tasmanians.

This includes attending the graduation of 30 new firefighters, who will help deliver our $18 million Ensuring Bushfire Safe Communities and Supporting our Volunteers election policy.

We are also investing:

  • $2.5 million in additional funding towards our successful “Red Hot Tips” program to support farmers and landholders conducting burn-offs; 
  • $2.5 million in additional funding towards our nation-leading Fuel Reduction Program, which stalled under Labor and the Greens putting Tasmanians and their homes at risk;
  • $3 million for our Health and Wellbeing Program to ensure all our emergency service personnel and volunteers receive the support they require; 
  • $250,000 to kit out volunteer fire trucks with new-generation defibrillators;
  • $2 million to advance the roll-out of new and enhanced mission-critical equipment for volunteer fire brigades;
  • $500,000 per year over four years to extend our grants program for fire and emergency services volunteers for equipment, amenity and facility improvements. 

As the new Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management, I have also had the pleasure of visiting our Police at their facilities to hear firsthand about the challenging and confronting situations they are faced with daily. 

Their dedication and commitment to keeping Tasmanians safe is why we are investing $43.3 million through our Investing in More Police and Safer Communities policy. 

The policy includes the staged recruitment of another 50 police officers, which once complete, will see the recruitment of 308 new police officers since 2014, with this month alone 44 new police officers joining the frontline.

Our other investments include:

  • $2.4 million to extend Tasmania’s electronic monitoring of family violence perpetrators, after the successful trial that showed an 82 per cent decrease in high-risk family violence incidents, and 100 per cent decrease in stalking, providing extra safety and comfort to victim-survivors;
  • $7.5 million to build a new police station at St Helens, and $12.5 million to upgrade the Bridgewater Police Station; on top of the $22 million for new stations in Longford, New Norfolk and Sorell.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is the strongest supporter of Tasmania’s fantastic emergency responders, who do an incredible and unceasing job in the face of extreme and challenging circumstances.

On behalf of the Tasmanian community, I thank each and every one of them for the work they do.