Main Roads set to axe jobs

UP TO 10 Transport and Main Roads (TMR) jobs are set to be axed from the Warwick district office, the State Government has confirmed.

With rumours circulating in recent days about an imminent announcement, the Daily News yesterday sought comment from Minister Scott Emerson about the local impact on TMR employees.

With the Newman Government pursuing a 25,000 "jobs to go" target across the state, at least 970 TMR workers are set to face the axe, with 47 in total employed in Warwick.

Mr Emerson yesterday confirmed up to 10 local positions would be scrapped, but said the district office on Wood St and the customer service centre on Victoria St would remain operational.

But the minister would not say if the redundancies would be forced or voluntary, leaving that to the Public Service Commission.

"The Department of Transport and Main Roads office in Warwick will continue to meet the region's transport needs," Mr Emerson said.

"A review of the department's statewide operation is nearing completion, however under the current proposed reform the Warwick TMR office will continue to deliver services as part of the Downs-South West region.

"The projected $100 billion debt left to us by Labor means it is vital we make the tough decisions to ensure TMR can continue to deliver high quality projects.

"In the Warwick area there will be no changes to Customer Service Centres.

"The Warwick TMR office currently has 47 staff and in line with the restructure there will be a reduction of up to 10 staff."

Mr Emerson went on to say discussions with staff would continue, "to provide certainty as quickly as possible as this process unfolds".

An internal document obtained by the Daily News this week - which Mr Emerson's office said was a "draft" to be ignored - suggested the Warwick district office would be closed down the track if operating costs made it unviable.

Meanwhile Ergon Energy workers on the Southern Downs are also reported to be feeling the pinch, with overtime hours having been scaled back, along with intakes of new apprentices.

Electrical Trades Union (ETA) state secretary Peter Simpson said he had not heard of a rumoured 20% cut of Ergon and Energex staff statewide, but said the providers were "certainly looking for savings".

"Fortunately our members operate under a federal agreement which was put in place earlier this year," Mr Simpson said.

"Under it there can be no forced redundancies or relocations for three years.

"But yes we have some workers who are very concerned at the cutbacks already in place, and the possibility that privatisation may come back on the agenda."

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