Western Australia Police officers will have access to medical benefits for ongoing work-related conditions after leaving the police service, under new State Government legislation.
Police and Emergency Services Minister John Kobelke said the legislation would remove the anomaly of police officers leaving the Western Australia Police with work-related injuries and illnesses without any recognition to meet the costs of their ongoing medical treatment.
Currently police are not entitled to recover these, nor other related expenses.
“Police officers in WA are not covered by workers’ compensation and we will now seek to provide specified post-separation medical benefits to police officers who have already left, or may in the future leave WA Police due to work-related injury or illness,” Mr Kobelke said.
“This was an issue vigorously pursued by the Western Australia Police Union during the last round of enterprise bargaining negotiations and I’m pleased that we have been able to come to a resolution.”
Mr Kobelke said the Government recognised the lack of consistency with the approach adopted by police in other Australian jurisdictions and established a steering committee, including the WA Police Union of Workers and Insurance Commission of WA, to recommend the best means to deliver post-separation benefits.
“Part of the continual improvement of our police service is to provide officers with the support which every worker in WA has a right to expect,” he said.
“The provision of post-separation medical benefits for work-related treatments follows the current Government’s achievement of extending occupational health and safety coverage to WA Police in 2003.
“Our police continue to do an excellent job and as a government we will continue to support our hard-working officers.”
The scheme required legislation which the Government intends to have introduced and passed by Parliament in 2008.
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