Yesterday was quite a momentous day in the scheme of all things remote.
In sweeping changes due to start in July this year, special remote tenures have been reduced in quite a few locations, including Cobar (from 4 to 3 years).
Even better news is that some locations, which have proven difficult, if not impossible, to fully staff have been “upgraded” from Remote to Special Remote, which will go a long way to fixing the problem.
Personally, I’m excited. Remember my post, Lines in the Sand Part 2? Well I’m happy to say that the Commissioner has heeded my advice (just joking) and Nyngan will now be Special Remote with all the new incentives that entails (up from a one-off payment of $5,000 to 5 yearly payments of $3,000).
Of course, starting in July, none of these changes will affect us. But any changes that encourage police to “go west” are a good thing. One suggestion I’d make is to retain some sort of proviso that priority transfers will be honoured. It would surely be difficult to entice cops to leave their own homes for 2 or 3 years without any certainty of return at the completion of tenure.
Over the almost 10 years of outback tenures, I’ve been extolling the virtues of special remote policing. The friendships you develop, the camaraderie with colleagues and the genuine welcome you receive from an outback town are hard to top.
So with all the dramas of the past year (we still have no transfer date), it’s nice to be able to say that my faith has been restored. Way to go, Commissioner Webb!