Australia– The State Government has denied a union claim that it is axing more than 200 National Parks and Wildlife firefighting jobs, insisting it only plans to shed 30 administrative positions.
Voluntary redundancy letters were reportedly sent to 10 per cent of the workforce – including frontline field officers and rangers – even as the state faced the most dangerous bushfire season in years.
Among those handed packages were fire management officers who work on strategies for combating bushfires, oversee hazard reduction burns and help to fight large blazes, it was reported.
Climate Change and Environment Minister John Robertson said he had no knowledge of any frontline staff in National Parks receiving a voluntary redundancy letter, maintaining only senior managers and administrative staff numbers were to be cut back.
”My message is if you’ve got one and you are on the frontline, throw it in the bin,” he said.
”We’re committed to maintaining our firefighting capacity in our national parks particularly in the south-east where we know there is a greater risk.”