Union welcomes plan to grant cops immunity from civil action

THE Queensland Police Union has welcomed proposed legislative changes granting officers immunity from civil action initiated by members of the public.

Under the proposed Public Service and Other Legislation (Civil Liability) Amendment Bill an officer who is engaging in an official capacity will be protected from being sued with the liability instead being transferred to the state.

However, an officer will not be protected under the changes if they are found to have not acted in good faith or committed a gross act of negligence.

Finance and Administration Committee chair Steve Davies said in his report, which was tabled in State Parliament this week, the new bill would amend a number of current pieces of legislation.

"The committee has recommended that the bill be passed and has made two additional recommendations regarding review of the proposed operation of the legislation," he said.

Those recommendations include that a review of the proposed changes be undertaken within five years and that the Public

Service Commission facilitates a centralised data collation system to ensure a valid assessment of the changes can be undertaken.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said in his submission to the committee the changes were long overdue.

"Our only criticism of the bill is that it is restricted to civil liability," he said.

"Our position is that officers should also be protected criminally when they are conducting their duties in good faith and without gross negligence."


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