Deniliquin Council ready for a fight over potential job losses.November 30, 2012 7:00pm
Barham farmer Neil Eagle, Deniliquin Mayor Lindsay Renwick, NSW Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson, Murray Group of Concerned Communities chairman Bruce Simpson and NSW Member for Murray-Darling John Williams.
NSW Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson cannot guarantee no jobs will leave Deniliquin as a result of the proposed creation of Local Land Services.
The minister was in Deniliquin yesterday, meeting with councils, landholders, irrigation groups and other stakeholders about the proposed Local Land Services (LLS).
LLS is a NSW Government initiative to combine part of the Department of Primary Industries (DPI), and all of the Catchment Management Authorities (CMA) and Livestock Health and Pest Authorities (LHPA) into one. It is expected to be operational by 2014.
Minister Hodgkinson denied claims that seven of eight jobs at the Deniliquin DPI office would be cut, saying ‘‘about two jobs’’ would go from the local department.
The minister said LLS was still in its ‘‘incubation stage’’, and that the proposal was still ‘‘malleable’’ and ‘‘open to feedback’’.
When asked for an indication of job cuts in Deniliquin, she said the project was a ‘‘work in progress’’.
There has been strong local concern that the proposal will result in massive job cuts, with those fears already confirmed in the Catchment Management Authorities.
It has already been confirmed that only 15 of 30 permanent positions will remain at the Deniliquin, Albury and Buronga CMAs.
The CMA job cuts are expected to be shared evenly between the three offices — meaning a 50 per cent loss of permanent positions in Deniliquin.
However, Deniliquin mayor Lindsay Renwick, who met with the minister yesterday, said losing one family or one person ‘‘takes away one hell of a lot from the region’’.
‘‘I don’t want any jobs lost.’’
Cr Renwick said he was also displeased with the plans to relocate Deniliquin DPI’s dairy officer to Wagga.
Under the proposed LLS boundaries, that would put the position in the nearby South West Riverina region - not Deniliquin’s Murray region.
‘‘I’’m not happy with anyone moving out of our district,’’ he said.
‘‘Out of our town is bad enough.’’
Cr Renwick said Deniliquin Council ‘‘will go in for a fight again’’ over the job cuts ‘‘if we have to’’.
Ms Hodgkinson blamed a tight budget for the job cuts, and also said some CMA positions were duplicated with LHPA jobs.
‘‘We’ve also been told by treasury that we have to find $30 million in recurrent (yearly) savings,’’ she said.
‘‘So the average public servant costs about $100,000 a year.
‘‘That’s basically 300 positions that we have to find savings for.
‘‘There currently exists a lot of duplication.’’
Ms Hodgkinson said the cuts were state-wide, and not just Deniliquin.
When asked if there could be enough duplication between Deniliquin’s CMA and LHPA to warrant a job cut of 50 per cent, Ms Hodgkinson said ‘‘there could be’’.
‘‘These agencies have been allowed to grow and develop basically without any assessment of duplication. The agencies never talk to each other.
‘‘It will be a streamlined system. It will be efficient. It will be good value for the taxpayer and ratepayer.’’
Ms Hodgkinson said employees will need to re-apply for their jobs because there will be a new industrial award.
The CMA and LHPA are currently on different award systems.
■ More stories in Tuesday’s Pastoral Times.
Police are treating a fire that damaged an abandoned house near Tatura on Thursday night as suspicious.
The Tungamah Football Netball Club has completed a fairytale season to clinch the Picola and District Football Netball League South East Premiership with an emphatic 106 point win over the Katamatite Tigers at Tungamah.
Billed as ‘Fabulous Flowers and Fine Food’, Tatura’s Anglican Church Parish had a successful fundraiser on Thursday, September 4.
Moama Bowling Club's Michael Walker has been chosen for the 2014 Australian Premier League team.
David and Katrina Christie’s Nanneella dairy farm is now home to one of the biggest sheds in the district, a 160m by 37m monster.
Don’t write Ky off yet, says coach ahead of preliminary final
Seymour event packs out St Mary's College on Saturday night.
Star Tocumwal defender took her club's A grade best and fairest award last weekend, adding to her 2014 PDNL medal.
Mia Mia Cricket Club is about to field its first cricket team since 2001
Cobram Mens Shed chips away at the issue of mental health but calls for more space.
Breakout seasons from Deni Rovers Jamie Thorpe and Nick Hay have seen the pair rewarded with respective best and fairest titles.
Now the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is enshrined in law, many opponents of the controversial plan to return irrigation water to the environment appear to have lost interest.
More than 320 000 foxes and 1500 wild dogs had been eradicated under the bounty scheme in the past three years.
- Motorcycle ride raises money for cancer charity
- Leukaemia patients come together to support Light the Night Benalla
- Permit sought for a clay target shooting range at a disused quarry at Baddaginnie
- Acclaimed pastry chef returns to Benalla
- Benalla resident on journey to help others with mental illness
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.