Tag Archives: South Australia

Police Marched On SA Parliament House In Fight for Compensation

Several thousand police officers, their families and supporters have taken to the streets in a protest march at the provisions affecting them under the State Government’s new workers compensation legislation.

The rare protest — the last march took place in 1991 as part of an acrimonious pay dispute — was aimed at gaining support for a move to restore compensation and medical benefits for officers seriously injured in the line of duty.

The march, led by Police Association president Mark Carroll, his executive and workplace delegates, blocked two lanes of King William St and spread over two city blocks as it converged on Parliament House from Victoria Square.

The march was timed to garner support for an amendment to the Police Act being introduced in the Legislative Council later today by Family First’s Robert Brokenshire.

His amendment would restore benefits for injured police that have been taken away under the new Return to Work Act.

The Opposition and independents in the Upper House are planning to support the Brokenshire amendment, but the Government is opposing it and contending that seriously injured officers are adequately catered for under the Return to Work Act.

On the steps of Parliament House, speakers including Mr Brokenshire, Greens MLC Tammy Franks and Opposition legal affairs spokeswoman Vickie Chapman voiced concern at the predicament of injured police and urged the government to support the amendment.

“We want you to have the same protections as other police in the country, including the Australian Federal Police,’’ Ms Chapman said.

“It is utterly unconscionable to us the government won’t recognise the work police do. You sign that oath, you do the work and place yourself in danger for us and we respect that.’’

She said for the officers to be now in the position where they have to “go and beg for assistance with your arm shot off’’ was unacceptable and the Opposition would fight to rectify the situation.

Read more in The Advertiser.

SA Attorney General Snubs Police Association

A war of words has erupted between the state’s Attorney-General and the Police Union over claims used in their campaign against workers’ compensation reforms which he says are “incorrect”.

John Rau has accused the Police Association of South Australia of misrepresenting the support being provided to the face of the campaign, Senior Constable Brett Gibbons, under the new Return to Work scheme.

Under the new Return to Work Act, there is a two-year cap on income maintenance and a three-year cap on medical expenses.

Only workers who exceed a 30 per cent impairment scale would be classified as a “seriously injured worker” and receive benefits beyond those caps.

Mr Rau said that under the scheme a worker could be given an “interim determination” to be treated as a “seriously injured worker”, providing support past those caps.

Police Association state president Mark Carroll said the interim determination on Snr Const. Gibbons was simply a “stay of execution”.

“It simply means SAPOL intends to consider Brett to have a 30 per cent whole-person impairment until he can formerly be assessed,” he said.

“The interim determination simply means that SAPOL intends to consider Brett to have a 30 per cent whole-person impairment until he can be formerly assessed.

“But this determination bears absolutely no relevance to his post-assessment status.”

Mr Carroll said the Attorney-General’s assertion that “the matters so far raised by the Police Association … are built on shaky foundations” was nonsense.

“And, if our foundations were shaky, why would firefighters, ambulance workers, nurses, public-service unions, the Australian Lawyers Alliance, the Law Society of SA and the Australian Medical Association all hold similar concerns about the act?” he said.

Read more in The Advertiser.

SA Police Union To Demand More Tasers And Harm Minimisation Measures Over Compensation Changes

Police will demand funding for more Tasers and covert body armour if the South Australian Government does not support moves to protect officers from its controversial Return to Work scheme, the police union says.

Continue reading SA Police Union To Demand More Tasers And Harm Minimisation Measures Over Compensation Changes

South Australia Police May Begin Work Bans

Solo police patrols will be banned, one-man police stations in country regions face lengthy closures, foot patrols in trouble spots will be doubled up and some high-speed pursuits stopped if the dispute between police and the Government over workers compensation is not resolved.

A crisis meeting of police union delegates today is also expected to approve a major police protest march down King William St next Wednesday, culminating in a rally at Parliament House.

The proposed work bans and a wide range of other industrial measures will be pursued by the union if medical and compensation benefits for police seriously injured in the line of duty are not restored.

The move — the latest in the dispute over the new Return to Work Act — will intensify pressure on the government to back a legislative amendment to restore the benefits, that will be voted on in parliament on November 18.

After the delegates’ meeting, Police Association president Mark Carroll and secretary Tom Scheffler will meet Police Commissioner Grant Stevens later today to discuss any motions that are adopted and their ramifications.

Mr Carroll said each of the measures to be voted on by the delegates were to “ensure the safety of individual officers and reduce the risk of injury while on duty.’’

Source: The Advertiser.

Police Numbers Fall Despite SA Government’s Promise of Extra Officers

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Police numbers in South Australia have fallen by 48 in the past year, despite a State Government vow to make the streets safer by adding hundreds of extra officers.

As the Government is targeted by the Police Association in a public campaign to restore extra compensation benefits for police injured at work, it can be revealed that the election promise is under a cloud.

Labor first made the pledge at the 2010 election, declaring that it would expand SA Police by 313 staff, compared to employment levels at the time. Premier Jay Weatherill restated the promise in his 2014 election manifesto, setting his Government a deadline of mid-2018 to deliver the boost.

However, new figures in the latest SA Police annual report show that just 71 staff have been added in the past five years since the pledge was first made. The size of the force has actually fallen by 48 to 4475 in the past 12 months.

Police have complained that an increase in paperwork and compliance created by legislation passed under Labor’s law-and-order crackdown of the past decade, has significantly lifted workloads.

Opposition police spokesman John Gardner said it was clear the Government “will not come anywhere near meeting” its recruitment promise and should apologise to voters.

Read more in The Advertiser.

South Australia: National Police Remembrance Day

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National Police Remembrance Day memorial services are held across the state on Tuesday 29 September to honour and remember the 61 dedicated SA Police members and those from other Australasian jurisdictions who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Continue reading South Australia: National Police Remembrance Day

Amputee Threatened Police, Nurses With Knife At Royal Adelaide Hospital

An angry amputee held South Australia police and nurses at bay with ‘cutlery’ and refused to leave hospital because no one would help him shower at home, a court has heard.

On Monday, counsel for Benjamin Troy Heintze asked the District Court to show their client mercy over his actions at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in August last year when he waved a knife and vowed people would “get messed up” if staff discharged him from the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Nurses called a “code black” emergency and SA Police’s STAR Group attended – a police negotiator convinced Heintze to surrender.

Judge Davey viewed photographs of the implement and disagreed with defence counsel’s description.

“A butterknife is a small knife with no cutting edge at all, and that’s not what this was … it’s a normal knife given as cutlery for use in a hospital,” she said.

Defence attorney said Heintze acknowledged he could “become aggressive” and was willing to undertake counselling – something Judge Davey said he sorely needed. She said Heintze had a history of verbally abusing and threatening people who did not do what he wanted, including another judge whom he had labelled a “scumbag” and a “f—ing c—”.

“He called the court a ‘f—ing piece of s—’ a ‘f—ing smart-ass scumbag’ … and a ‘f—ing c—’,” she said.

“If I do something he doesn’t like, is he going to call me a f—ing c—?”

Judge Davey will sentence Heintze on Tuesday.

Read more at News.com.au.

Support Your Local Police And Push For A Boost In Staffing

Community vigilance is needed to help keep the Fleurieu’s people safe. But it is also the responsibility of South Australian Police and the government to keep a watchful eye on the Fleurieu and boost our police numbers as the population increases, and if crime does too.

For two robberies, at Goolwa Priceline and Bank SA, to take place in broad daylight along the south coast in less than a week is shocking.

Kudos most go to the local police who caught those responsible just hours after each robbery occurred.

An increase in population, lack of job security and the increase of drugs in society are factors that can result in more crime. As was seen in 2013 during a spate of crime in Goolwa, the community called for an increase in police numbers and it was granted.

While there is nothing the general punter can do to stop such acts [robberies] occurring, we can all make it our responsibility to look out for others.

By keeping in contact with people and making it known that you are watching and care, you help build trust in the community.

Read more in Victor Harbour Times.