WA Police Union members have voted in favour of running candidates at the 2025 State election, following on from the Australian Nurses Federation deciding to set up its own political party. The motion was among dozens debated behind closed doors at the WA Police Union’s annual conference on Monday, with the results publicly released on Wednesday. Candidates would be tasked with championing better pay and conditions for members, which were described as having been “greatly eroded over the past six years”. Under Upper House reforms pushed through by the Labor Government in 2021, political parties will just need to secure around 2.6 per cent of the Statewide vote to win a seat in the Legislative Council. Another motion calling for first responders to be made exempt from the State public sector wages policy - arguing frontline police officers regularly faced greater risks including injury and even death - was also carried. Making the case, president Paul Gale pointed to WA Police suffering its worst attrition rate in more than 50 years in 2022-23, with many quitting for a less taxing job in the private sector - and asked why this was not sounding alarm bells in the State Government. “We are regularly portrayed as just regular public sector workers but we’re not,” Mr Gale told reporters on the sidelines of the conference. Moments later, Police Minister Paul Papalia dodged questions on whether an exemption was feasible, joking that the rest of the Cook Government probably wouldn’t trust him with controlling officers’ wages as he’d “give them anything they want, which is not the best approach”. Members rejected a motion calling for disaffiliation with UnionsWA from the union’s Geraldton branch, which argued more must be done to restore the force’s apolitical status. “WAPU has rejected numerous approaches to affiliate with UnionsWA over the years because of its partisan political foundation, activities, and inherent danger to compromise police duties,” the motion read. “A recent example of this was the ‘Yes’ campaign, which was a political issue that divided the community. Members of this Branch opposed to the Voice vehemently object to this association.” The motion also pointed to the militant Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union being a UnionsWA affiliate, citing media reports of “examples of abhorrent behaviour by their officials”. These included a former member of the notorious Sword Boys street gang Edmond “Monty” Margjini, who has extensive criminal convictions including assault, trespass and property damage, and former CFMEU Queensland president David Arthur Hanna, who was in 2019 jailed for rape and corruption. In his conference address, Premier Roger Cook committed to expanding the post-traumatic stress disorder “presumption” already afforded to firefighters and ambulance workers to police, meaning they will no longer have to “prove” they suffered debilitating mental injuries on the job when seeking workers’ compensation.