As South Australia heads into a potentially catastrophic fire season our state’s park rangers could lose their jobs as part of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ staffing cuts.
In response to a question from the Opposition in Estimates Committee today, Environment Minister Paul Caica confirmed that park rangers could be sacked as part of the government’s harsh saving reforms.
Mr WILLIAMS: Can you give us an undertaking that there will be no loss of Park Rangers, or Field Rangers, from the parks system?
The Hon. P. CAICA: I cannot give that undertaking, because, if you look at the quantum savings required from DNER, it is obvious that it is going to in the main be from staffing levels.
(Hansard, Estimates Committee B, 11/10/2010)
Shadow Environment Minister, Michelle Lensink, has criticised the Government for failing to protect park rangers’ jobs.
“Record winter rains have promoted high vegetation growth that will dry off and be a disaster waiting to happen this summer with high fuel loads posing a huge risk to communities.
“We cannot afford for park rangers to lose their jobs at a time when wildlife handling, fire management, weed eradication, pest control, and enforcement and are so vital.
“This is yet another example of how this Government is completely disconnected from the needs of the community,” Ms Lensink said.