Reforms expected to see jobs axed
HUNDREDS of land and environment jobs in regional NSW are expected to be axed as part of the State Government's planned public sector reforms.
Public Service Association General Secretary John Cahill said on Tuesday about 350 jobs from the Office of Environment and Heritage, including 150 ranger positions, would be culled this year.
According to a government source, at least four of the affected positions will be in the Coffs/Clarence area which has already been hit by massive job losses at the Grafton Jail.
Mr Cahill said the changes opened the door for commercialisation of the state's national parks and would have a significant impact on the ability of some departments to respond to emergencies.
"Many of our national parks area managers have come up through the ranks as rangers, with knowledge of the local environment that is second to none," Mr Cahill said
"A slash in their numbers and budget will seriously impact effective natural resource management and risks leaving the state short when bushfire and disasters hit our parks."
The announcement coincided with a warning from NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell for public sector workings planning industrial action to think again.
Speaking to reporters in Sydney about a dispute between Sydney Water Works chiefs and their employees Mr O Farrell said workers should be "careful" not to engage in "industrial thuggery" and believe there would be no consequences.
He said if workers from the private sector could deliver the same services at a cheaper price, the State Government would be "duty bound" to consider alternatives.