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Road jobs in the firing line

Roadtek could be among the hardest hit by the State Government job cuts.
Roadtek could be among the hardest hit by the State Government job cuts.

ROADTEK and Main Roads employees in the region could be among the hardest hit by State Government job cuts, but continue to face a nervous wait with the government still refusing to release figures for the Southern Downs.

On Tuesday, the Public Service Commissioner Dr Brett Heyward confirmed 1300 Transport and Main Roads employees across the state would lose their jobs, along with 600 Roadtek employees.

Both of these departments have large depots in Warwick.

The Daily News has contacted the State Government on several occasions to determine how many jobs are on the chopping block, but as yet specific figures have not been forthcoming.

Together Queensland union organiser for southern Queensland Dennis Mullins said about 18% of the region's Main Roads and Roadtek employees would lose their jobs.

"I don't have an exact number for the individual depots," he said.

"We expect there will be 100 to 150 job cuts in the Darling Downs region."

The Daily News understands it is not just temporary counter and administration staff whose livelihoods hang in the balance, with specialised employees in Main Roads and Roadtek potentially in the firing line.

Roadtek contractors are also believed to have been cut and significant projects slashed in the region, and further west such as at Roma.

A Minister for Transport and Main Roads spokesman yesterday told the Daily News the department was working to provide certainty as quickly as possible.

"As discussions with staff are under way, we won't be releasing specific regional numbers at this stage," the spokesman said.

"About 75% of the targeted reduction will be in corporate and support areas within Brisbane."

Mr Mullins said that the uncertainty was just as bad for the local economy as the job cuts themselves.

"More importantly is the impact the loss of confidence has," he said.

"People who fear the security of their jobs will stop spending money."

Mr Mullins said he spoke to a Warwick businessman yesterday.

"He said he had seen a downfall over the last four months," he said.

"People are only going to spend money on the necessities while their jobs hang in the balance."

The recent sackings were made possible when the Public Service Commission removed employment security and contracting-out clauses from the "industrial instruments" late on Tuesday.

This change effectively stripped job security from all State Government employees except police and health workers.

Mr Mullins said Together Queensland agreed state departments needed to be the right size to operate effectively but said the government had "gone too far".

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Topics:  jobs main roads roads roadtek



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