Police escort a truck from The Doubtful Creek CSG drilling site.
Police escort a truck from The Doubtful Creek CSG drilling site. Patrick Gorbunovs

Bentley operation could leave police under-resourced: union

THE police union is warning members that local area commands across the state could be left under-resourced as a result of the number of officers being seconded to break up the Bentley anti-gas protest.

In circular 19, dated May 7, regarding Operation Stapler (Bentley Gas Project), Police Association of NSW president Scott Weber did not mention the number of officers involved but the potential impact on policing statewide.

Mr Weber encouraged all members to report to the association if their local area command was left understaffed and unable to cover first response incidents because officers were involved in Operation Stapler.

"The number required to be deployed on this operation may affect the capability of LAC to meet First Response Agreement," he wrote.

"Please advise your local branch officials of any breach using the first response non compliance form available at our website or by calling the office to notify the association of all first response breaches."

It is rumoured that 700-900 police will be involved when Metgasco accesses Peter Graham's Bentley property with a drilling rig on May 19.

The circular, posted on the Police Association of NSW website, mentions the scale of the operation, accommodation requirements, meal allowances, hours of duty and facilities required under the police officers 2013 award.

"Under normal circumstances an operation of this magnitude would require a considerable

period of careful planning," the circular read.

"Unfortunately, the planning for this operation is constrained by a far shorter timeframe."

The Police Association of NSW declined to comment on the circular or the police operation at Bentley.

Police have refused to make any further statements about the operation.

Police Association conditions according to their award:

  • Three-star accommodation.
  • If meals not supplied, then daily meals allowance of $22.30 for breakfast, $25.45 for lunch and $43.85 for dinner.
  • Eight-hour shifts with two rest days every week.
  • Decontamination facilities required, along with toilets, stand-down areas and shelter.
  • Appropriate uniform and personal protective equipment.


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