Member for Moore Shane Love MLA has condemned the McGowan Government for breaking a pre-election commitment to increase the pay of WA Police officers by 1.5 per cent.
With State debt headed toward $42 billion, Mr Love said Labor’s decision to cap public sector wage increases at $1,000 would only improve the State Budget bottom-line by $520 million over the next four years – or 1.23 per cent – yet significantly hurt police officers and their families.
“Prior to the election Mark McGowan promised to retain the Liberal-National Government’s wages policy of a 1.5 per cent increase,” Mr Love said. “Mr McGowan has since broken this commitment.
“Police officers are rightly angry and I stand by them in condemning the Labor Government’s cowardly backflip. These men and women in blue put their safety at risk for the community on a daily basis.”
Mr Love said the Premier’s cruel pay deal could prove detrimental for policing resources in regional Western Australia. “I am concerned the Premier’s wages policy will impede the State’s ability to attract and retain police officers in the Wheatbelt and Mid West,” Mr Love added.
The Nationals have argued for more than a year that a new revenue source is required to address the structural deficit impacting WA’s finances.
“Our policy to negotiate an increase to the 25c special lease rental, contained within the legacy iron ore State Agreements of BHP and Rio Tinto, is a fair way of ensuring everyone pays their bit to get WA’s finances back on track,” Mr Love said.
Mr Love said the Labor Government continued to peddle the line that the entire community must wear pain in order to fix the Budget, yet Mark McGowan was only picking off easy targets.
“The Premier has one set of rules for the State’s most profitable companies and another set for the rest of the community,” Mr Love said. “The truth is, police officers, teachers and nurses are a soft target for this Premier, they are the pay-packet punching bags he decides to hit, while he cosies up to the mining companies.”
Mr Love said The Nationals had a strong track record of supporting WA Police, particularly in regional WA.
“It was The Nationals, through Royalties for Regions, that increased district allowances for police officers in regional WA to the tune of $208 million, provided $94.5 million to replace the old analogue Police Regional Radio Network and funded long overdue upgrades to police housing across the State.”