30,000 jobs secure despite Qld rural council mergers

20th June 2007In a bid to hose-down the increasingly emotive council amalgamation plans for regional and rural Queensland, Premier Beattie has extended his jobs guarantee offer, protecting 30,000-plus shire council employees for three years.

Council staff jobs will be safeguarded until 2011, including employees at senior executive levels.

Only Mayors and councillors and chief executive officers are excluded from the proposed deal .

A just-released joint statement by the Premier and Local Government Minister, Andrew Fraser, says the previously announced Staff Support Package now spans a three-year timescale.

This will give more time for affected councils to accommodate the transition.

“What this means is that there will be no forced redundancies for any employees other than chief executive officers,” Mr Beattie said.

“This needs to be made very clear – everyone who currently works in local government will be able to continue to work in local government,” he added.

“It’s imperative we help council workers in those areas that might be affected, with the most orderly transition possible and do everything in our power to minimise the impact on jobs and uncertainty for employees,” Mr Fraser said.

“About 37,000 people work in the Qld local government sector and the government is determined that those jobs are protected through the process of reform,” he added.

The independent, seven-member Local Government Reform Commission will hand its report to the State Government on August 1.

SOURCE: Extract from report in Queensland Country Life, June 21 issue.