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NSW Government decimates Deniliquin DPI, CMA jobs

Seven of eight jobs at the Department of Primary Industries could be lost in Deniliquin, with more cuts in the Catchment Management Authority and possibly the Livestock Health and Pest Authority.

November 16, 2012 4:57am

Seven of the eight employees at Deniliquin’s Department of Primary Industries (DPI) could be lost as part of NSW Government budget cuts.

The Pastoral Times believes the DPI staff have been informed of likely job losses or possible position relocation.

Another 15 permanent positions will be lost from the Murray Catchment Management Authority (CMA) from across the Buronga, Deniliquin and Albury offices.

CMA general manager David Leslie said the cuts represent 50 per cent of the permanent staff across the three offices, and he expects cuts to temporary staff will be considered early next year.

The DPI and CMA positions have been slashed in preparation for the NSW Government’s new super organisation Local Land Services.

It will see the DPI merged with CMAs and Livestock Health and Pest Authorities (LHPAs) from next year.

The number of jobs which could be lost from the Deniliquin Riverina LHPA office is not yet known, but it is believed the organisation has been instructed to slash its budget by 10 per cent next financial year.

The confirmation of job losses has angered Deniliquin stakeholders, who say the government seems intent on destroying the agricultural industry in Deniliquin and district.

They also say a lack of fight from NSW Member for Murray-Darling John Williams is more than disappointing.

‘‘The amount of Deniliquin jobs being affected is ridiculous given the value of agriculture in this region,’’ a source close to the affected DPI workers said this week.

‘‘If anything, we should be getting more support and staff.

‘‘This region is likely to be most affected by Murray-Darling Basin Plan cuts, and now they want to take even more from us.

‘‘And the lack of screaming from our local member, when his region is to be most affected, is unbelievable.

‘‘All the knowledge in these peoples’ heads is going to be lost.’’

A document received by the Pastoral Times this week lists the seven positions to be cut from the local DPI office, with only research hydrologist Sam North expected to be retained of the permanent staff.

Staff have reportedly been told there is a possibility two positions may continue to support some workers in the Murray Irrigation Limited region, but there is no guarantee they will be based in Deniliquin.

The dairy development officer position will be based in Wagga and the irrigation development officer position may be based at Deniliquin or Yanco.

Two positions are expected to be created under the LLS structure, but again there is no guarantee they will be located in Deniliquin.

A dryland agronomist position will be created at Albury and the irrigation agronomist could be based in Deniliquin or Dareton.

Within the Murray CMA, Mr Leslie confirmed he has discussed the job cuts with his staff.

He said the permanent staff base would be reduced by half over three offices and temporary staff would go through the same process next year.

He could not guarantee remaining positions would be located in Deniliquin.

‘‘Of the 30 permanent staff between Buronga, Deniliquin and Albury, only 15 will be retained,’’ he said.

‘‘I am not yet in a position to say how many will be removed from Deniliquin, but I can say Deniliquin will remain the head office at this stage.

‘‘My position, the business manager and one other position will remain in Deniliquin.

‘‘All others could be located at either Buronga, Deniliquin or Albury.’’

Mr Leslie said there were five permanent staff members currently located at Deniliquin.

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