Translink is to be re-absorbed into the Dept of Transport as part of large job cuts announced today.
Article from Courier mail website follows:
Nearly 2000 jobs will be cut from Queensland’s Transport and Main Roads department and related bodies as part of sweeping Newman government budget cuts, Transport Minister Scott Emerson has revealed.
Mr Emerson also confirmed TransLink would be absorbed into the department, as flagged by brisbanetimes.com.au last week.
The Transport Minister told Parliament this morning the job cuts would target staff in corporate and support roles in the department, along with jobs in RoadTek and TransLink.
Across all those areas 18 per cent of jobs, or 1970 full-time equivalent positions, will be cut in a move the government says will save $287 million over the next four years. As of March 2012, there were 9269 full-time jobs in Transport and Main Roads.
Mr Emerson said the cuts included a restructure of RoadTek to '‘provide more affordable transport projects by reducing the cost of delivering infrastructure back below the national average’'.
RoadTek is a commercial subsidiary of the government responsible for the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges across Queensland. It tenders for projects
against private companies, and is essentially contracted by the government.
‘‘That will mean a reduction of 600 full-time equivalent [RoadTek] positions due to work being tendered to private industry in mature markets such as southeast Queensland,'' Mr Emerson said.
‘‘These decisions are not easy. But the alternative is the Labor way: a state plunging towards a projected $100 billion debt and a state where costs of living items such as fares and registration continue to skyrocket.’’
RoadTek employs 2500 staff and contractors.
In mid-June, Mr Emerson revealed the state government planned to do away with RoadTek in its current form in a bid to increase taxpayers’ "value for money".
Mr Emerson said TransLink would no longer operate as a statutory authority confined to the state’s southeast, but would become part of the department to oversee the qconnect bus network, TravelTrain services, school bus services along with subsidides regional airlines, coach and ferry services.
‘‘The TransLink board will be removed and the department will remain in five divisions with the number of senior executives almost halved from 37 to 21.’’
'Just the start'
Alex Scott, secretary of the public service union, Together, this morning condemned the timing and scale of the job cuts as “abominable” , accusing the government of hiding behind the Olympic coverage. “Clearly we think this is just the start of a number of job cuts that are going to be announced during the Olympic period, despite what the government has said,” Mr Scott said. “It is no coincidence that they are starting to announce the details of these job cuts which clearly have been well planned for a number of weeks. “They have obviously been holding off until the Olympics started to so they can minimise the coverage that they will receive within the broader community.”
Mr Scott said the 600 jobs cut from RoadTek and the decision to bring TransLink back into the Department were flagged, but said the scale of the impact was a shock.
“We think that it is abominable that the department has announced these cuts once again through the media before the staff have got any information.”
This morning RoadTek general manager Clinton Huff said he was not aware of any announcement about RoadTek job cuts.
“I am not going to comment,” Mr Huff said. “When I see something that comes out which tells me what has happened, I will work with whatever I have got to work with.”
Earlier, Premier Campbell Newman defended the government’s cost-cutting drive, saying the alternative would be to increase taxes by $1000 per Queenslander to plug this year’s budget deficit.
Mr Newman, who last week raised eyebrows by invoking the troubled situation in Spain while talking about the risks to Queensland’s finances, today made reference to actions as “Aircraft Queensland plunges in towards the ground”. He said the Bligh government’s loss of the state’s AAA credit rating in 2009 was costing Queenslanders dearly, with interest payments higher on state debt. Mr Newman, who has argued the state doesn’t currently have the money to stump up funds towards a National Disability Insurance Scheme trial, argued millions of dollars extra could be spent on support for people with disabilities.
The Newman government is currently working its way through cuts in various government departments.
In the lead-up to the March election Mr Newman promised no forced retrenchments in the permanent public service and repeatedly vowed not to use the Peter Costello-led audit commission report to walk away from election commitments.
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk has repeatedly accused Mr Newman of creating a climate of fear in the public service and exaggerating the state debt figure.
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