Job cuts will hit economy

BIG public sector job losses will hit the general Gympie Region economy from next month, as the State Government austerity measures bite, union officials claimed yesterday.

Scores of government workers will no longer have jobs under announced cuts to temporary contract employment and a non-replacement strategy on permanent jobs, they said.

Ron Fossen, of the public sector union Together, said budget cuts had already led to the termination of many temporary employment contracts at Gympie's TAFE.

And a public sector audit promises trouble for all government workers on temporary contracts, he said.

He said the job losses, all administered from Brisbane, would flow on to the rest of the economy, starting with the retail sector.

"We question the government's policy of keeping front-line staff only, because those front-line staff need support staff to keep going," he said. "Crunch time will probably be about mid-June. About 20% of public servants are on temporary contracts."

The union's health sector organiser Donna Webster said even front-line health services at Gympie Hospital would suffer if administration staff lost their jobs.

"Unemployment will worsen in regional centres," she said.

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