Devastating news hit Macedon Ranges yesterday when the 60 employees of The Australian Emergency Management Institute were told they would be without a job after cuts in the Liberal Government’s Budget.
The AEMI will close its doors shortly to become a ‘virtual institute’, saving a mere $900,000 over four years.
The Institute is one of the biggest employers in the Macedon Ranges.
Ms Chesters said this was a savage cut by the Abbott Government.
“It’s a blow for the regional community and 60 families who face being forced to uproot and move to bigger centres to find work,” Ms Chesters said.
"For the central Victorian economy to be strong, we need public sector jobs.
“Since the Government came into power, we have seen job cuts at the Bendigo Australia Post, Centrelink, the ATO office and now the AEMI.
“This sets a bad trend for central Victoria and all jobs in the public service look insecure under Mr Abbott.”
Ms Chesters said it also defied belief that the Abbott Government would look to dismantle a centre of excellence for natural disaster management.
“Natural disasters are on the increase around Australia. Shutting down an institute that works to prevent the next Black Saturday defies belief.”