Police workers compensation scheme still on the drawing board

Medically retired police officers, including Mandurah's Michael Thornbury (far left), meet police minister Michelle Roberts to discuss a scheme to protect WA's police with workers compensation. Photo: Supplied.

Medically retired police officers, including Mandurah's Michael Thornbury (far left), meet police minister Michelle Roberts to discuss a scheme to protect WA's police with workers compensation. Photo: Supplied.

Police minister Michelle Roberts has confirmed a scheme to protect Western Australia’s 6200 police officers with workers compensation is still on the drawing board.

However, she would not say how much the scheme would cost or if it would retrospectively cover former officers who were retired on psychiatric grounds.

Mandurah medically retired police officers Wendy Kennedy and Michael Thornbury had been campaigning for the change since 2014, but the issue had plagued governments of both sides for more than 30 years leaving WA the only state in Australia with police not covered by workers compensation.

Most recently, former police minister Liza Harvey promised to introduce legislation to protect police officers by July, 2017, before her party lost power at the March state election.

Medically retired Mandurah police officers Wendy Kennedy and Michael Thornbury have been fighting for a police workers compensation scheme since 2014. Photo: Kate Hedley.

Medically retired Mandurah police officers Wendy Kennedy and Michael Thornbury have been fighting for a police workers compensation scheme since 2014. Photo: Kate Hedley.

On Monday, Mrs Roberts told a meeting of the medically retired police officers association she was “making headway on a solution”.

According to the officers, Mrs Roberts told them she was working towards “having a system in place towards the end of the year”.

However, Mrs Roberts was less forthcoming when it came to a request for information from the Mandurah Mail about who the scheme would cover and how much it would cost.

“This is an issue that I committed to implementing before the election,” she said.

“I am currently working on a range of options and will consult extensively with the union, both serving and retired police officers and the Commissioner of Police before finalising our proposed model.”

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