Police Association of South Australia Confirms it is a Sick Joke by Defending Sex Offender Inspector Wade Burns


Wade Burns posing with Emily Bourke, Minister for Autism, who was probably unaware she was sitting next to a guy found guilty of indecent assault by his employer.

Wade Burns, who pleaded guilty at a SAPOL internal hearing to an indecent assault he committed in 2017, has been narrowly elected as president of the powerful South Australia police union.

As if having a sex offender leading a police union isn’t bad enough, the Police Association of SA (PASA) – which Burns led prior to becoming union head – is now displaying its evil, vindictive streak by going after Darren Cornell.

Cornell was runner-up in the union election. His ‘crime’ was to correctly declare Burns’ candidacy “untenable” after the indecent assault revelations were made public by independent MP Frank Pangallo.

Pangallo, who used parliamentary privilege to air the revelations that SAPOL and Burns had successfully hidden for seven years, also declared Burns’ election bid untenable and is now calling for the new union head to resign from his position.

Cornell and Pangallo are absolutely correct in stating that Burns’ new position as police union head is completely unacceptable. SAPOL has shocking levels of sexual harassment and assault within its ranks. A 2016 Equal Opportunity Commission investigation found sexual predation was far higher within SAPOL than the average workplace: 49 per cent vs 28 per cent, respectively.

It is extremely doubtful that a female SAPOL employee seeking redress for workplace harassment or assault will receive fair representation from a union headed by a perpetrator of indecent assault.

Burns’ position as SA Police Union head is an audacious insult. In fact, his very position as member of a force whose mandate includes detecting and apprehending perpetrators of sexual offenses is also completely untenable. He should be expunged not just from the police union but from SAPOL entirely.

PASA: Predators Association of South Australia

Following the declaration of Burns as winner over second-placed Cornell, a PASA management committee meeting was held.

Minutes circulated after the meeting said “(outgoing) president and committee of management congratulated newly-elected president Wade Burns”.

As if publicly congratulating a sex offender wasn’t bad enough, Burns’ mates at PASA then turned their wrath on Cornell.

The minutes showed the committee discussed “the conduct of nominees for the presidential campaign”, “use of SAPOL email system”, “SAPOL general order media”, “damage to association reputation/brand by actions of others”, “need to ensure these actions are not replicated in the future” and “association needs to act on the inappropriate actions of others”.

The minutes referred to a “formal complaint” that had been made and rule 4.6 of the PASA constitution, which deals with expulsion of members. The matter was deferred to allow the committee time to consider their positions.

No further detail was given but Pangallo said the complaint was in relation to comments made in the media by Cornell, publicly calling for Burns to end his campaign.

Pangallo said the committee should instead have met to consider the suitability of Burns for the role.

“How can you be expelled for making a statement to the media but not be expelled when serious allegations have been made about sexual assault?” he said.

This is the kind of scum that holds sway over policing in South Australia. PASA has no problem with cops indecently and forcefully assaulting female colleagues.

But in PASA’s twisted world view, those who rightfully call for perpetrators of such offenses to remove themselves from a police union election are the real danger.

PASA has shown beyond any doubt that it is a sick joke, one deeply committed to ensuring SAPOL remains a predatory boys’ club. Sex predators at SAPOL can now bask in the knowledge that a person guilty of indecent assault leads the police union, and his like-minded mates are in control of the police association.


Police union to consider complaint against presidential candidate Darren Cornell for his public call for Wade Burns to resign during by-election campaign. The Advertiser.

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