Ser­vices left out in the cold

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

The State Govern­ment has been ac­cused of un­der­min­ing fun­da­men­tal ser­vices in the Pil­bara through the pub­lic sec­tor staff freeze.

Tom Price is still with­out a res­i­dent child pro­tec­tion worker two months af­ter the po­si­tion was made va­cant.

La­bor Mem­ber for Min­ing and Pas­toral Stephen Daw­son raised con­cerns in Fe­bru­ary the po­si­tion had not been filled.

The Depart­ment of Child Pro­tec­tion and Fam­ily Ser­vices told the Pil­bara News the po­si­tion would be filled by the end of Fe­bru­ary, but has con­firmed that has not hap­pened.

DCPFS di­rec­tor gen­eral Emma White said an ex­pe­ri­enced child pro­tec­tion worker had been pro­vid­ing tem­po­rary sup­port un­til March 4.

“An­other full-time child pro­tec­tion worker will re­lo­cate to Tom Price and com­mence within the next fort­night,” she said.

“This po­si­tion will con­tinue to be filled from in­ter­nal re­sources un­til the State Govern­ment freeze has lifted.” She said the depart­ment was man­ag­ing 357 open cases in the Pil­bara district this month.

Mr Daw­son said the freeze was caus­ing dis­tress to fam­i­lies in need of th­ese ser­vices.

“The Govern­ment needs to take re­spon­si­bil­ity, they’re the ones who got us in this mess,” he said.

“This freeze is hav­ing a big ef­fect on ser­vices in the re­gion.

“My fear is it is go­ing to cre­ate more prob­lems in the short term and end up cost­ing more in the long run.”

The freeze is un­der­stood to be af­fect­ing other pub­lic sec­tor ar­eas in the Pil­bara, in­clud­ing men­tal health and claims of un­der­staffing at the Kar­ratha Mag­is­trate’s Court.

A Depart­ment of the At­tor­ney Gen­eral spokesman de­nied this, stat­ing a per­ma­nent staff mem­ber had started at the court this week and ad­di­tional sup­port was be­ing or­gan­ised to cover staff leave.

On Mon­day, Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Ken Bas­ton raised fears the freeze had ex­posed the WA agri­cul­ture in­dus­try to dis­ease out­breaks which had the po­ten­tial to dev­as­tate the live­stock in­dus­try.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.