Park net­work cost- cut­ting

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by Natalie Wynne wynne@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

TOWNSVILLE City Coun­cil will stick with con­trac­tors to main­tain its parks net­work in a bid to save $ 4.1 mil­lion over five years.

How­ever, Mayor Les Tyrell has promised no reg­u­lar coun­cil em­ploy­ees will lose their jobs.

The de­ci­sion to keep the out­side work­force was brought un­der re­view as the orig­i­nal agree­ment was sched­uled to come up for re­assess­ment this month.

Cr Tyrell said work­ers had been con­sulted with on many oc­ca­sions.

‘‘ We’ve given a com­mit­ment to re­tain our cur­rent work­force for the other four sec­tors,’’ he said.

‘‘ We have had a num­ber of dis­cus­sions with the unions and work­ers about the agree­ment.’’

Ex­ec­u­tive man­ager of Parks Ser­vices, Ray Collins, said the coun­cil re­mained aware of staff’s con­cerns through­out the de­lib­er­a­tion process.

Cr Tyrell said the use of out­side con­trac­tors had been in place for the past 15 years.

‘‘ We see it as an op­por­tu­nity . . . for us to look at ways of pro­vid­ing ef­fi­cien­cies,’’ he said.

Mr Collins said they would now work with parks staff to im­prove work­place prac­tices to make coun­cil more com­pet­i­tive with the pri­vate sec­tor.

‘‘ Dur­ing the re­view, we had a great re­sponse from staff who them­selves came for­ward with a range of sug­ges­tions on how to im­prove parks op­er­a­tions,’’ he said.

‘‘ Us­ing in­ter­nal staff in four of the five sec­tors, coun­cil is hop­ing we can look at those in­ef­fi­cien­cies.’’

Mr Collins said the new con­tract for the pri­vate op­er­a­tors would last for a three-year pe­riod.

‘‘ A work­ing group has been set up with staff rep­re­sen­ta­tion to eval­u­ate and im­ple­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties to im­prove our pro­duc­tiv­ity and ef­fi­ciency over the next three years.

‘‘ The whole aim is to im­ple­ment a spec­i­fi­ca­tion that will be uni­form across all sec­tors in-house.’’

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