New $36k incentive to attract cops to outback towns
Incentives for police officers to go bush will jump as high as $36,000 to address recruitment and retention issues in NSW.
While police can already receive a one-off payment of $5000 for heading to a remote community, a new model from July will be similar to annual payment allowances for teachers.
Police in Broken Hill and other remote locations will receive $8000 in their first year and a total of $36,000 over five years.
Additional incentives will also apply for special remote locations and remote off-shore locations, such as Lord Howe Island and stations with only one or two officers.
The payments would be beneficial in addressing ongoing issues around recruitment and retention in these important communities, Police Association of NSW president Kevin Morton said.
"This is about getting police in the right place at the right time," he said.
"Our members operate at the heart of these remote communities and go above and beyond to protect and serve.
"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."
Deputy Premier and Police Minister Paul Toole and Police Commissioner Karen Webb travelled to Broken Hill to announce the package on Friday.
It also includes rental housing at some locations, tied to three-per-cent of an officer's annual salary, and reduced mandatory tenure periods at identified locations to allow greater mobility opportunities for officers.
"We acknowledge that it is currently a very competitive labour market and the NSW Police Force will continue to strive towards providing the best benefits and working conditions possible to nurture and develop our officers," Ms Webb said.
Mr Toole said the scheme rewarded relocation and retention and gave officers the flexibility to "invest these incentive payments in what matters to them and their families".