Maitland MP slams government decision to move jobs

ANGRY: Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison.

ANGRY: Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison.

NEARLY 40 NSW government jobs will move from Maitland to the Central Coast in a “devastating” decision that will cost the local economy up to $18.7 million and has been slammed as political by the Public Service Association (PSA).

The government announced last year 50 jobs in its Office of State Revenue sites at Maitland and Lithgow would be transferred to Gosford by natural attrition, while another 40 positions would be forced transfers to the Central Coast.

While the government backflipped on the natural attrition decision last week, there has been no promise to protect the other positions, which the government said on Wednesday would be moved to Gosford in 2018.

PSA regional organiser Paul Jones slammed the move, saying the flow on effect for the Maitland community would be huge.

“There is definitely an election motive,” he said. “They are playing politics with local communities.

“It’s another blow for the region from this government and they don’t seem to care about regional communities anymore.”

A statement from the office of Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison estimated the move could lead to an economic loss for the region of $18.7 million.

“Forty job losses at the our local Office of State Revenue will be devastating for the local economy and for many in my electorate,” Ms Aitchison said 

“If the Berejiklian government was truly committed to regional Australia they wouldn’t be robbing Peter to pay Paul.

“Pinching jobs from Maitland to give to the Central Coast does nothing for overall employment in regional areas.”

Stephen Brady, deputy secretary in the Office of State Revenue, said 39 Maitland-based staff members were told of the impending move to Gosford in April last year.

“These are not job losses, this is a transfer of roles and no overall job losses will result from this process,” Mr Brady said.

“Staff who do not want to relocate to Gosford will be part of a talent pool process to support movement to other NSW government agencies and are being offered resilience training and training on getting another job.

“The new state of the art facility in Gosford will be complete late 2018 and roles will be moving from that time.”

The story Decision to cost region $18m first appeared on Newcastle Herald.

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