Public services on Qld hit list

Issue 

Public services on Qld hit list

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — In the latest of a series of planned savage cutbacks in the Queensland public sector, up to 12,000 government workers could lose their jobs in the education and health area, it was announced on July 10.

Private contractors would take over the work of government employees in cleaning, catering and laundry services in hospitals and schools.

Meanwhile, the Education Department has frozen employment of additional teachers and support staff in a bid to cut costs. The State Treasury has ordered restructuring which will increase high school class sizes, close some schools and encourage early retirement by teachers.

Queensland Teachers Union president Mary Kelly described the moves as a disaster for the state's children.

"There are now 8000 unemployed teachers in Queensland, and this enforced redundancy under the cute euphemism of increasing class sizes will just exacerbate what is already a serious problem", Kelly said on July 7.

Rail workers at the Townsville railway workshops have voted to disaffiliate from the ALP in angry reaction to government plans to close three of the state's five workshops over the next five years.

The rationalisation program means the Townsville, North Ipswich and Banyo workshops will shut down, and total staff at the remaining Redbank and Rockhampton sites will drop from 2600 to 1100.