David Gibson with union delegates Paul Church, Paula Fischer, Alanna Morris, Paul Gorman, Zaf Paulic-Sahin and Neil Pearce outside the Main Roads building following a meeting held before the state election.
David Gibson with union delegates Paul Church, Paula Fischer, Alanna Morris, Paul Gorman, Zaf Paulic-Sahin and Neil Pearce outside the Main Roads building following a meeting held before the state election. Craig Warhurst

Main Roads hit again

TENSION is mounting at Gympie's Transport and Main Roads office.

Since Member for Gympie David Gibson assured staff he would do all he could to help keep jobs in Gympie, 10 more have been cut.

The temporary and contract staff were lost as part of the LNP's non-frontline staff cutbacks.

Queensland union organiser Ron Fossen said staff were yet to hear any word from management about managing increased workloads.

Mr Fossen said union members felt the lost finance and human resources jobs were undervalued by the government, but necessary.

As well as these cuts, Mr Fossen said agency staff were cancelled across the board, loading up already stretched workers.

"It's very concerning for workloads.

They can't meet requirements with the staff they've got," he said.

"The commitment given by the local member seems to be ignored.

"Since the meeting, 10 jobs have gone. It's really difficult for them to maintain workloads."

Mr Fossen was referring to a meeting where Mr Gibson met with union delegates outside the Gympie TMR office shortly before the election.

At the meeting, Mr Gibson basically told workers he and the LNP (as per the now-premier's policies) were on their side.

Gympie's Main Roads union delegate Paul Church told The Gympie Times that saying his fellow workers were disappointed was an understatement.

The sentiment was people perceived public sector workers as "fat cats" sitting on lots of money, he said, but the reality was they worked 60 hour weeks.

"They were relieved (after the election), now they're saying the public sector has been knifed in the back," he said.

Mr Church said when senior staff left, their positions were temporarily filled with existing main roads staff. Their previous roles were then filled on a contract basis.

He said the senior roles were not allowed to be permanently filled because of policies in force before the election.

Now the situation had escalated and staff who stepped up to the senior levels were told to move back to their original jobs and the contracted jobs were not renewed.

No one was employed in those senior roles anymore, but the "work is still there".

Mr Church said the contract staff had been with TMR for two, three or four years.

Voluntary separation payments combined with the recent losses meant 35 jobs were gone and the remaining workers were being left to pick up the slack.

Those extra 10 jobs would probably equal $600,000 a year to Gympie's economy.

Mr Fossen was forwarding a letter to the Transport and Main Roads Minister outlining promises to keep jobs in Gympie made by Campbell Newman and David Gibson before the election.

The letter asked for an assurance that commitments made during the election would be honoured.

Gympie Times


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