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Union Calls For Community Support in North Burnett to Keep Local Jobs Local

Local Authorities September 10, 2021

The Services Union has notified a dispute to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) over a decision by North Burnett Regional Council (NBRC) to cut local services. The dispute concerns the Council’s proposed cuts including cuts to Customer Service Centres and Libraries.

The decision of the Council to cut services in its local community comes at the same time that the Council has decided to spend ratepayers’ money on an office on the Sunshine Coast and on contractors to do work that could have been done in-house. The Council needs to prioritise wages being paid to workers based in the region so they can support local businesses.

NBRC Chief Executive Officer has defended the Council’s decision to open an office on the Sunshine Coast on the basis that working remotely is the new norm.

“Regional communities like North Burnett rely heavily on these services and the local jobs that come with them. If these cuts go ahead, it will be a huge loss for the local community,” said Neil Henderson, Secretary of The Services Union. “When coupled with an apparent shift to engage staff who have no connection to the local community the likely economic impact of these actions may be significant.”

“The proposed cuts will allegedly save the Council $145,000, which is a drop in the ocean when you consider the amount of money the Council is spending on contractors outside of the community, Sunshine Coast office space, corporate consultants, lawyers and recruitment firms all based outside of North Burnett.”

The Services Union has written to the Councillors asking them to reconsider what the Council is doing. The dispute will be heard in the QIRC next week.

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