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Sustainability unit disappears in Water Corporation cutbacks

The Water Corporation’s ability to maintain and implement water efficiency programs appears doomed with the decision to scrap its Sustainability portfolio.

Staff were told on June 3 that the Sustainability unit would be abolished, another example of an agency struggling with its ongoing funding cutbacks.

CPSU/CSA branch secretary Toni Walkington said this decision was typical of the Barnett Government cutting funding without evaluating what the impact will be on services the community expects government agencies to deliver.

“The Water Corporation has been a big target for this government for a few years now as it winds it down even more,” Ms Walkington said.

“Now that they are closing down the Sustainability unit all the good things those people have been working on will stop.

“Water is a precious resource here in Western Australia and it is important that we have a dedicated unit to continually develop sustainability measures for now and the future.”

Ms Walkington said their members in the Water Corporation rejected the suggestion that sustainability was already integrated into work of other teams.

“The feedback we have received is that this is not the case and is unlikely to change upon the abolition of the Sustainability team.

“Our members said it won’t happen because the Water Corporation doesn’t properly quantify, value or assess energy efficiency or sustainability at a planning, design at a project management or even operational stage.”

Ms Walkington also attacked any talk of the unit offering little commercial value or not giving a positive return on its investment.

“A lot of the work they do is in the research and development space and is for the long-term benefit of the state, so it is hard to put a dollar value on that.

“Morale at the Water Corporation has hit rock bottom and a lot of our members have dwindling faith in the agency’s future.

“They have scoffed at suggestions that the work they do will be imbedded into other parts of Water Corporation, saying that is nothing more than talk.”

Recently the corporation recently confirmed it was planning on getting rid of 300 full-time equivalent position with about 89 already gone.

“Given 10 per cent of its workforce is set to disappear the public should be worried about how it was doing to deliver all of its services.”

 

FOR COMMENT:

FOR INFORMATION:

Toni Walkington
CPSU/CSA Branch Secretary
(08)  9323 3800

Darren O’Dea
CPSU/CSA Media Liaison Officer
M: 0421  934 794
P: (08) 9323 3855
E: darren.odea@cpsucsa.org

 

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