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Barnett admits impact on frontline services

Finally the Barnett Government has conceded that staff and funding cutbacks to the public sector will have an impact on frontline services.

The Community and Public Sector Union/Civil Service Association has been consistently saying cutbacks would compromise the delivery of these services.

On September 26 last year Treasurer Troy Buswell said reducing staff numbers and spending less on the public sector would not affect services to the public.

This is in stark contrast to a meeting the union had with Premier Colin Barnett last week where he confirmed frontline services would be affected.

CPSU/CSA acting branch secretary Rikki Hendon said Western Australia’s public sector had been struggling to meet the demands of a growing community.

“We have been saying for a long time that government agencies are struggling to deliver services with less staff and resources, a fact that has been ignored by the Barnett Government - until now,” Ms Hendon said.

“Mr Barnett said economic pressures were the reason behind the public sector cutbacks but at a time of high population growth we have to ask why essential services are the first things to go and why lavish projects are still going ahead.”

The Barnett Government said legislative amendments would be introduced into State Parliament before Christmas that will give them power to introduce forced public sector redundancies.

“At last week’s meeting the Premier said forced redundancies would only be used as a last resort and denied they would be used to offload poor performers who had not been through an appropriate performance management regime.

“The Premier’s adviser said it was the Public Sector Commissioner’s job to ensure redundancies were not used in that way.”

Ms Hendon said they were concerned that forced redundancy legislation would ultimately help the State Government to retrench entire divisions and sell off services to private enterprise and non-government organisations, driven by their own agendas and shareholder profits.

 

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