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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 153 asked in the Legislative Council on 10 March 2020 by Hon Charles Smith

Minister responding: Hon M.H. Roberts
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

POLICE — MEDICALLY RETIRED OFFICERS — REDRESS SCHEME

153. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the minister representing the Minister for Police:

I refer to the police redress scheme.

(1) How did the panel assess the mental health effects of being section 8-ed out of the Western Australia Police Force?

(2) Was a mental health specialist on the redress panel?

(3) How were financial sums calculated in assessing each individual's redress claim?

(4) Why were some former officers offered a greater redress than others?

(5) Will the minister table the decision-making matrix?

(6) Why does accepting the redress offer depend on the terms and conditions stating that the financial sum awarded will be claimed back should a further legal claim be made against the government?

Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. The following answer has been provided to me by the Minister for Police.

(1)–(6) When the police redress scheme was established, an independent assessment panel was appointed to ensure integrity and independence throughout the process. The IAP members are Dr Karl O'Callaghan, former Western Australian Commissioner of Police; Ms Susan Barrera, former director general of the Department of Communities, with significant experience in previous redress schemes; and Ms Lilly Cvijic, a former Western Australian serving police officer.

The IAP was provided with de-identified information, including information obtained from the medical files of the applicant. Applicants were given the opportunity to provide any additional medical information. Information provided to the IAP was sourced from the applicant's health and welfare medical file, which contained medical and specialist reports, information supplied by the applicant and analysis thereof. The scheme has been managed and assessments were made by the IAP.

The de-identified information was assessed by the IAP individually throughout the process in order to determine what redress to offer each applicant. It has never been the intent of the scheme that uniform equal payments be made to those applicants deemed eligible for the scheme. The IAP assessed each offer subject to criteria it determined based on an ex gratia–type payment to recognise the service and acknowledge the circumstances of ill or injured former police officers. This ensured that fair and equitable offers of redress, up to a maximum of $150 000, were made to eligible applicants.

Further advice will be sought about providing the decision-making matrix. The scheme has, and remains, independent so as to ensure its integrity, without interference or undue influence. Procedural fairness has also been integral to the scheme. At each stage of the scheme, applicants have had the opportunity to request a review by the IAP based on process. Consistent with payments of this nature, should any further claims be made, any payment made under the scheme would be taken into consideration.