200 MAITLAND JOBS ON THE LINE
A campaign has been launched to save 200 Public Service Association jobs which could be lost or moved from Maitland to Newcastle, stripping our economy of $90 million a year.
Maitland Business Chamber and Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison have called on the State Government to guarantee local jobs will be safe after it was announced in the State budget that 2500 "back office" jobs would be cut from the public sector.
There are fears public servants working under a number of portfolios in Mineral House, Maitland (corner of High and Hannan streets) may also be moved to Newcastle.
Ms Aitchison has written to Premier Gladys Berejiklian and a number of ministers whose portfolios cover the jobs under threat, calling on her to come good with a guarantee any cuts or relocations will not happen.
Business Chamber President Judy Brown has also written to the Premier asking for clarification.
The Premier had previously claimed front line public sector workers and public service jobs in regional areas would not be affected by the cuts.
A spokesperson for the Premier told The Mercury "there will be no public sector job losses in regional NSW as a result of the implementation of the employee expense savings measure."
The spokesperson said that under the NSW Government, there has been record levels of jobs growth in the regions.
The spokesperson did not respond to questions about job relocations doing little to appease Ms Aitchison and Ms Brown.
"Job losses like this will strip over $90 million a year from the local economy, particularly hurting businesses in The Levee who have been doing it tough," Ms Brown said.
"I am calling on the Government to honour its commitment to regional and rural Australia, confirmed by the Premier only last week, and protect these Maitland jobs."
Ms Aitchison has asked the premier for a guarantee there will be no public service sector cuts in Maitland either for workers who live in the community or those who work here.
"I also want a guarantee that no jobs currently located in Maitland will be transferred out of Maitland," Ms Aitchison said.
"As Revenue NSW is based in my electorate and has already suffered a number of job cuts under the Berejiklian regime, these workers may be at further risk, particularly if they are framed as "back office" positions.
"There are community concerns that the 200 staff who work in Minerals House will be transferred to a new property in Newcastle within the next two years.
"This would presumably include staff from Crown Lands and other staff who were transferred from the Lands Office in East Maitland which is vacant since the government moved the staff to Minerals House last year.
Last year it was announced that 40 revenue office jobs would be shifted from Maitland to the Central Coast.