CPSU calls for real regional jobs not more pork barrelling

The CPSU says Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce’s failure on regional employment for public sector workers highlights the need for a real plan to provide secure and stable regional Commonwealth jobs.

The union strongly supports the creation of more employment opportunities in the public sector outside the capital cities, and has a plan to bolster jobs on the basis of the needs of regional communities rather than political expediency.

CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said: “Regional Australia is absolutely crying out for the kind of stable, secure jobs offered by the public service, which would have the added bonus to boosting the fading service standards of important agencies such as Medicare, Centrelink and the Tax Office.”

“It’s astounding for Minister Barnaby Joyce to claim to be the champion of regional employment when thousands of Commonwealth workers have been sacked by the Turnbull Government outside the capital cities, a sizeable portion of the 18,000 jobs they’ve cut overall.”

“The majority of Commonwealth public sector jobs are already based outside of Canberra but there’s a real opportunity to restore thousands of jobs lost in regional centres. That’s in contrast to the communities that have been hurt on Minister Joyce’s watch by substantial job cuts across essential areas like biosecurity, Centrelink, Medicare, the Tax Office, Defence and the CSIRO. Each and every one of these cuts hits the workers in those communities hard, with just one example being the 200 Tax Office staff who’ve been sacked in Townsville.”

“We agree with Minister Joyce that regional Australia should have more quality public sector jobs, but we differ markedly with the Government on how that should be achieved. The CPSU has been campaigning to restore thousands of jobs across regional towns to provide services for people in those communities.”

 “In the case of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Management Authority, the situation outlined by APVMA’s chief executive has confirmed our fears that this relocation is terrible for staff and disastrous for the agency’s operations. That’s going to do real harm to the authority’s customers and Australian farmers relying on those products.”

“Having staff working out of a Macca’s shows the Government has completely dropped the ball on this, but what’s really scary here is the expertise that’s being lost and the gaps that’s causing in this agency’s critical work. APVMA is a text book example of why this kind of relocation should not proceed.”

“The scientists and other workers in APVMA are highly qualified and committed to their important work, but they’re not going to make their families move when that threatens their partners’ careers or means their children don’t have access to the specialist services they need. They’re also deeply worried that this will hamstring APVMA from doing its job properly now and for many years to come.”