Parks Minister Matthew Groom must intervene and stop the 25-30 Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) job cuts due by July in light of serious concerns raised in a CPSU report released today.
“This is part of a carefully co-ordinated assault on wilderness by a Minister who is heavily conflicted by his responsibility for State Growth,” Greens Parks spokesperson Nick McKim MP said.
“He is opening up Tasmania’s wild places for rampant development at the same time he is getting rid of the very people who are there to look after it.”
“Make no mistake, these jobs are being shed with the intent of weakening the PWS and reducing its capacity to look after Tasmania’s reserve system. More development in reserves should mean more people working on compliance, monitoring and management, not fewer.”
“PWS has been bled dry for years, and despite the $16 million budget injection the Greens secured in the previous period of government, funding is now going backwards again despite more area for PWS to manage.”
“The CPSU’s report identifies that the loss of 30 PWS staff will impact on critical areas including reduced firefighting capacity, weed and feral pest management capacity, emergency situation responses, and reduced capacity to support established local tourism operators. This should be ringing alarm bells for Mr Groom.”
“Crucially, the report raises serious concerns that these cuts risk closure of sites due to the Parks and Wildlife Service’s reduced capacity to maintain safe infrastructure.”
“Mr Groom needs to reverse these cuts as a minimum, and also get serious about evaluating the true cost and stress his push for further development will also impose upon his woefully underfunded Parks and Wildlife Service,” Mr McKim said.