State Budget 2017 fails to live up to jobs promise

Media Statement - Toni Walkington

"People working in public services have already done more than their fair share.

After eight years of the Barnett Government cuts, the public sector has been cut through the bone to the marrow.

Since the election of the McGowan Government, West Australian public sector workers have been asked to dig deeper and deeper again as the Government reduced the number of Departments from 41 to 25 and unilaterally cut wage increases saving in excess of $500 million.

The Treasurer’s claim that this budget is about creating jobs cannot be believed when it includes cutting 3000 local jobs.

People working in public services are also West Australians hit by fees and charges, trying to make ends meet. The sector is again shouldering most of the economic reform, with 49% of the savings announced today from public service jobs.

In March, CPSU/CSA members voted for change. A change to investing in public services the community relies on and a change to keeping public services in public hands. 

It’s clear that we didn’t get one.

More cuts to services and the public sector didn’t solve the problem for the last government and it won’t solve the problem for this one.

We need to be promoting economic activity, not cutting jobs.

The Government should be investing in prevention and diversion services designed and delivered by the public sector workforce to mitigate against the high costs associated with reactive services such as prisons and children in state care.

In recognising that there is a financial issue in the Department of Justice, their answer is to model solutions based on criminal activity, not on what they might do to prevent it.

CPSU/CSA members want to continue to deliver valued services to West Australians and this budget makes that increasingly difficult.

Public Sector staff are already doing more and more work and it’s time for the Government to have an honest conversation with West Australians about what services they are going to cut with a significantly downsized public sector."

Listen to Toni Walkington's interview on 720 ABC DRIVE with Belinda Varischette.

More information: 
Gemma Walsh, Media Liaison
M: 0421 934 794


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