Police and Australian Defence Force officers guarding the border between NSW and Victoria have been described as "the steel in our protection".
Albury MP Justin Clancy told NSW Parliament on Wednesday that the performance of police in the Albury district during the border closure and the summer bushfires showed why the laws on officers getting promotions should be updated.
The changes will introduce a merit-based system for sergeants, inspectors and superintendents, where promotions are advertised and qualified officers will be eligible to apply.
"They are guardians of our society and our way of life. We do well to listen to what they are telling us about their work, and about their career and promotions system," Mr Clancy said.
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"As anyone who has driven through the border crossings can attest, the presence of hundreds of police officers and members of the Australian Defence Force are the steel in our protection.
"Day and night since the first week of July, those great Australians have been on duty along the border with Victoria.
"It is a remarkable job and they have carried out their responsibilities honorably and successfully."
Day and night since the first week of July, those great Australians have been on duty along the border with Victoria.Albury MP Justin Clancy
Murray River Police District Commander Superintendent Paul Smith was singled out for the counsel he has provided to the Albury MP during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Clancy said the police also demonstrated "selfless" work during the bushfires alongside the Rural Fire Service.
"While some were hands-on fighting the fires and protecting property, the police officers were also in harm's way, keeping control of the roads and directing residents away from danger," he said.
"Their actions to protect residents and keep them away from danger are the kinds of skills which are learned in the heat of battle in forests and remote townships."
He said police were owed "a debt of gratitude that cannot be measured", but could be recognised by a change in law to improve their promotional system.
The bill was introduced after NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller requested a review of how the current promotions process might impact women's promotion opportunities and career progression.