Jobs at risk despite Kennett backdown

June 17, 1998

Jobs at risk despite Kennett backdown

By Kylie Moon

MELBOURNE — Workers from the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) won a partial victory in a campaign against the Victorian government's proposal to cut $24 million from the department's budget.

The proposed cuts to DNRE would have cost more than 650 jobs, mostly from conservation and research areas, and threatened closure of Victoria's aquatic research program in Heidelberg.

While the Kennett government announced a partial backdown on the cuts on May 20, a $20 million reduction in funding remains. The backdown was enough to prevent a number of redundancies.

On June 5, more than DNRE 200 workers from around the state marched to parliament, led by a marching band and cart of dead fish.

The workers at the rally condemned the potential loss of the research centre and the impact this would have on research into endangered fish species. They opposed sackings and the forced relocation of workers.

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