Police relocating to work in some of the state’s more remote communities will be backed with cash payments of up to $36,000 and more career development opportunities under a modern new incentives scheme, announced by the NSW Nationals in Broken Hill today.
The scheme, to be rolled out from July 1, will see an additional investment of $7.5 million over the next five years.
Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW and Minister for Police Paul Toole said the scheme took a new approach to incentivising officers to go bush and become part of regional communities like Broken Hill, Wentworth, and Hay.
“These new incentives aren’t just about encouraging officers to move to the bush, it’s about encouraging them to stay in these communities for up to five years, building their capabilities and gaining incredible career experience in a job that is like no other in the Force,” Mr Toole said.
“It rewards relocation and retention and gives officers the flexibility to invest these incentive payments in what matters to them and their families.
“It’s an investment in the police who work across large areas in some of the most remote parts of the state to keep their communities safe.”
The new incentives, shaped by officer feedback, include:
- Increased payments to up to $36,000 over five years for officers who move to select regional location
- Housing provided by NSW Police at specific locations at a rate of 3 per cent of an officer’s salary per annum – well below the rental market rate
- Reduced mandatory tenure periods at identified locations to allow greater mobility opportunities for officers
- Additional funding to support officers in remote and special remote areas to travel and build their capabilities and career
Under current arrangements, an officer who transferred to Broken Hill Police Station would receive a one-off payment and additional incentives up to the value of $9,000 over five years. Under the new incentives model, this will increase to $36,000 over five years split over annual payments.
NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said the new scheme would provide a great opportunity for officers looking to make a change and diversify their skills to relocate to a regional position.
“Policing in regional NSW brings a whole new set of skills to learn, and the rewards gained from working closely with small and unique communities is an experience you just can’t get in the big cities,” Commissioner Webb said.
“The enhanced regional incentives package is another step forward by the NSW Police Force in creating a flexible and accommodating workplace, delivering world class policing across the entire state.”
Deputy Commissioner Regional NSW Field Operations Paul Pisanos said the NSW Police Force has listened to the needs and concerns of regional officers in formulating the enhanced package.
“We have consolidated the current financial and non-financial incentives into a more modern and flexible package, with greater financial benefits offered to officers who choose to relocate to our traditionally hard-to-fill locations,” Deputy Commissioner Pisanos said.
“In my opinion, policing doesn’t get any better than policing out in the regions – you become fully immersed in local communities and develop a new set of skills that will follow you throughout your career.
Police Association President Kevin Morton welcomed the move.
“For too long, police stations in remote areas have struggled to attract police officers. These improved incentives will go a long way to attract officers to serve these rural communities,” Mr Morton said.
“This is a significant financial win that will go a long way to retain our members in the bush who elect to police our most remote and regional communities, rewarding them for their ongoing commitment.”
The new incentives scheme will apply to officers transferring to 55 communities classified as remote, special remote and remote offshore locations including Broken Hill, Hay, Wee Waa, Walgett, Wentworth and Coonamble.
Officers currently attached to remote and special remote locations who have been stationed at those locations for more than five years will also benefit from a one-off payment of $4,300.
The new scheme is part of a landmark investment of more than $100 million by the NSW Nationals, announced last year, to recruit, retain and better take care of our police at every stage of their career.