Further to our recent motion relating to cutbacks of National Parks personnel, a member has provided links to information on this matter.
What’s gone wrong with our National Parks
Evidently, of the letters of reply to people writing about the restructure a common reassurance is that there will be 119 new front-line positions.
What the NPWS doesn’t say is
- how many jobs have been cut over successive years to create these “new” positions
- these are base grade jobs for Field Officer General Operations (fogo’s) for which the only job requirement is a drivers licence.
- The so called middle managers to lose their jobs are people with decades of experience. These are the people who liaise with the RFS re fire mitigations and suppression, liaise with e community on management issues, are generally involved in incident management, search and rescue/ marine mammal rescue inter alia. They have until recently usually come from a ranger background with graduate qualifications.
Further the Office of Environment and Heritage does not produce an Annual Report that reports specifically on NPWs staff numbers and budgets so it is not possible to make any assessment of accountability over time.
When I last visited the Mt Tomah botanic gardens the staff were very concerned about the ability to maintain these magnificent gardens following deep cuts in staffing. The penny pinching of the State government will degrade our parks while population soars unchecked. The dense urban areas crave green space and enjoyment of national parks , but the standards are being eroded
Funding in real terms needs to be raised substantially.