Evidence given today to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee confirmed that Rann Government plans for budget and staff cuts in departments were in disarray.
Senior executives from the Department for Environment and Heritage (DEH) told the Committee today they expected to be advised this month their share of 1200 full-time equivalent job cuts announced by Treasurer Kevin Foley in the Mid Year Budget Review statement, Liberal MLC Rob Lucas said today.
“They also indicated the details of the targeted voluntary separation packages (TVSP) scheme were likely to be outlined to staff this month with possible payouts of up to two years’ salary to be offered to eligible employees,” Mr Lucas said.
“However, the problem for agencies like DEH, is they are still implementing budget and staff cuts from the 2006-07 and 2008-09 budgets without being able to offer those staff TVSPs paying up to two years’ salary.
“For example, DEH is still working out how to implement 2008-09 budget cuts increasing up to $11.5 million per annum by 2012-13. The Department has agreed most of that cut will have to be achieved through staff cuts.
“So, agencies like DEH will have some staff cuts being achieved through TVSPs and other staff cuts trying to be achieved without access to TVSPs.
“In these circumstances it is obvious that staff members are unlikely to agree to retire without a package when some of their own colleagues are agreeing to retire with a TVSP, possibly with up to two years’ salary. If these circumstances continue then the Rann Government’s budget targets will be threatened as agencies will not be able to achieve the Government’s required budget and staff cuts.
“Premier Rann and Mr Foley now need to clarify exactly how the TVSP scheme will be implemented and how they intend agencies will achieve the budget cuts the Rann Government has already required of them.
“In summary, the Rann Government’s handling of these issues is simply a ‘recipe for chaos’.”