Jobs Under Threat At Regional Water Authorities
The Baillieu Government has failed to rule out more job losses across regional and rural Victoria as part of budget cuts to catchment management authorities, Labor Spokesman for Rural and Regional Victoria John Lenders said today.
The West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority has axed 17 jobs with a further eight positions under review, while the Water Minister Peter Walsh refused to rule out further job losses.
In Victoria there are 10 catchment management authorities employing about 400 people.
“Regional Victoria is going backwards under Ted Baillieu and the Government’s budget cuts to catchment management authorities will make the situation even worse,” Mr Lenders said.
“Mr Walsh has failed to rule out whether there will be further job cuts in other catchment management authorities, instead describing the job cuts as a ‘trimming out’ of the public service,” Mr Lenders said.
“It is clear that these job losses are part of the Baillieu Government’s 4200 public service job cuts outlined in this year’s state budget.
Victoria’s catchment management employees are frontline services that play an integral role managing the state’s water resources.
Mr Lenders said that rural and regional Victoria had already lost out under the Baillieu Government, with cuts to vital programs and initiatives such as the $205 million Future Farming Strategy, $290 million in annual funding for TAFEs and the scrapping of the First Home Owners Bonus.
“The Baillieu Government has ripped an additional $47.3 million from Victoria’s water authorities to run a budget surplus and now it is shedding these vital jobs,” Mr Lenders said.
“Rural and regional Victorians are beginning to realise that this government is very different to the one they voted for over 18 months ago.
“These job cuts are another example of Ted Baillieu turning his back on families and communities in the state’s rural and regional areas.
“If the Baillieu Government cared about rural and regional Victoria it would create jobs, not cut them.”