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. 

Supporting the mental health of our first responders

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

Supporting the mental health of our first responders

3 September 2021

The Department of Police Fire and Emergency Management’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy has been launched to guide the way we support the mental health and wellbeing of our emergency services workers, volunteers and their families.

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.

That’s why it is so important that we support those who keep Tasmanians safe by providing access to both proactive and responsive services to support their wellbeing.

The Strategy will guide the Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management for the next five years, and includes supporting our personnel and their families as we know families too are affected by their loved ones wellbeing.

The Strategy’s vision is for positive mental health and wellbeing within the organisation so that people are mentally and physically fit, ready and capable to deliver high quality policing and emergency services for the community.

The latest Tasmanian Budget 2021-22 includes an additional $1.5 million for the Health and Wellbeing of emergency service personnel and volunteers, taking the total funding to $3 million per annum.

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