State Opposition Leader Mark McGowan said the Government should settle paralysed policeman Ryan Marron’s compensation claim, after the officer contracted a mosquito-borne virus while stationed in the remote Kimberley, “generously and expeditiously”.
“He acquired this injury in the course of his duties in an outback community and it was very painful and very difficult for him,” Mr McGowan said.
“I am not going to put a figure on it but I think it needs to be settled and I think it needs to be generous.”
An ex gratia payment given to the constable could exceed the record $3.3 million paid to police officer Matt Butcher last year.
Const. Marron suffered calamitous injuries after being bitten by a mosquito carrying Murray Valley encephalitis, which causes swelling in the brain, during a two-week stint at Balgo community last April.
The 30-year-old officer, who was left unable to walk, talk or care for himself, returned home to WA last Friday after six months of intensive rehabilitation in the US, at a cost of about $4000 a day.
WA Police Union president George Tilbury said the exact amount of the ex gratia payment claim the union would lodge with the Government on behalf of Const. Marron would be calculated in the next few months.
"As part of the application, experts in certain fields help assess the dollar amount of care and what it will cost in the future, medical specifics and housing requirements," he said. "It will be a full assessment of his lifestyle."
Const. Marron’s partner Toni Misitano said last week the payment was important considering the treatment and services he needed to progress to full health.
Const. Marron has improved his mobility, walking and strength but still cannot speak. Mr Tilbury said the Government had indicated to the union that Const. Marron’s claim would be viewed favourably.