More local public sectors jobs will be cut and lost as a result of Federal Liberal Government’s decision to shut the regional offices of the department responsible for regional development, says Lisa Chesters MP.
“Actions speak louder than words and shutting down the regional offices of the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, including one here in Bendigo, speaks volumes about how out-of-touch this Government is with regional Australia,” said Ms Chesters.
Ms Chesters called on the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Nationals Leader and deputy Prime Minster, Warren Truss MP, to reconsider the closures which will leave staff in Bendigo with an uncertain future.
“It’s a bitter irony that the Minister responsible for regional development, Mr. Warren Truss, is presiding over closures which will result in yet more job losses in regional Australia.
“This decision also means that regional development policy will now be developed from within the Canberra bubble. To tackle the challenges facing regional Victoria we need more people, not less, working in the regions.
“Once again the Federal Liberal Government is shutting up shop in country Australia and retreating to Canberra. In last year’s Budget the same Government committed to closing the Australian Emergency Management Institute, removing it from its current location at the site of Ash Wednesday, and replacing it with a yet-to-be-developed, Canberra-based online facility,” said Ms Chesters.
Ms Chesters said the announcement, delivered to staff by email on Monday, was yet another in a series of public sector job losses for Bendigo.
“Tony Abbott and his deputy Warren Truss cannot be trusted to secure and create jobs in Bendigo and central Victoria.
“Since the Liberals came to power we have seen job cuts at the Bendigo Australia Post, Centrelink, the ATO, the AEMI and now the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.
"For the central Victorian economy to be strong, we need public sector jobs.
“This continues a very bad trend for central Victoria amid increasing insecurity in the public service under the leadership of Mr Abbott and Mr Truss.”