Axe set to swing on jobs

Minster for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries John McVeigh.
Minster for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries John McVeigh. Toni Somes

REGIONAL areas will face more job cuts with the restructure of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry department but Minister John McVeigh has promised frontline jobs will not face the cutting block.

Agforce general president Brent Finlay said he had met with the minister to discuss the restructure.

The minister and Mr Finlay both said they were unsure across which regional facilities the job cuts would be made.

Mr McVeigh said the final announcements would be made when the budget was released on September 10.

He promised frontline biosecurity positions, including tick, wild dog, crop protection, weed and fishery inspection would remain.

"So far we've found savings in head office of approximately 200 staff, mostly admin and corporate, communications and PR roles," he said.

AgForce general president Brent Finlay said he supported the restructure as long as no frontline jobs were lost.

"We understand the government needs to make cost cuts due to the financial situation of the state," he said.

The Hermitage Research Facility is part of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry department.

Pursehouse Rural area manager Ben McIntyre said it would be a blow if the research facility closed.

"It's one of the last research facilities in the area," he said. "They don't just work on the farmer levels. They are across the whole industry and have incredible knowledge.

"They are invaluable and we can't live without them."

"We have established an employment plan for 12 months and over three years."

Mr McVeigh said the new stand-alone department would be tightly managed, with staff more accountable than under the previous government.

Topics:  job cuts, john mcveigh



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