Posted on 17. Jun, 2013 in News

The Napthine Liberal National Government will sack another 60 Parks Victoria staff, significantly impacting regional Victoria, Shadow Minister for the Environment, Lisa Neville said today.

Ms Neville said the latest staff cuts followed the slashing of 400 staff from the Department of Sustainability and Environment and 200 staff cut from the Department of Primary Industries.

“The Napthine Liberal National Government has once again proven it doesn’t care about regional Victoria with these latest job cuts,” Ms Neville said.

“Mr Napthine’s Parks Victoria frontline jobs cuts could see some of Victoria’s pristine parks closed and will hamper efforts to restrict invasive pests and weed growth.

“The Government recently admitted to gutting its environment and primary industries departments.”

Ms Neville said the Napthine Liberal National Government this year alone have made cuts of $109 million from environmental programs within the Department of Environment and Primary Industries.

Ms Neville said Environment Minister Ryan Smith recently admitted to the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee that more job losses were coming.

Mr Smith told PAEC:

“We have put a freeze on recruitment to bring staff levels back to historic levels. We are lapsing fixed-term positions. As I have said, we have some of that corporate and back-office reform going on. Natural attrition will also contribute to the savings, and we have a VDP, or voluntary departure program, that we have announced through the sustainable government initiative.”

“The Napthine Liberal National Government in nearly three years has gutted government agencies put in charge of protecting and enhancing Victoria’s environment,” Ms Neville said.

“Victorians care about our national parks and natural environment but under this Government there is massive funding cuts, less staff and less capacity to address environmental issues.

“The agriculture sector should also be concerned as Mr Napthine is now providing less funding for management of pests, plants and animals on crown land.”

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