Union slams job losses
At least 30 jobs to go at gun registry
UNION representatives have slammed a decision to slash one third of staff at the Murwillumbah Firearms Registry.
Registry staff were told at a meeting last month that 15 workers would not have their contracts renewed at the end of June, with another 15 to go in the near future.
It is understood the job cuts come after a $20 million blow-out in the cost of a new online application service for firearm owners, which is being developed by Service NSW.
The Public Service Association of NSW met with staff in Murwillumbah on Thursday and demanded management explain the reason behind the job cuts.
General secretary Stewart Little said the job losses would have a “huge impact on the local economy”.
“The whole point of moving the registry to Northern NSW was to stimulate the local economy and create work opportunities,” Mr Little said.
He said workers were concerned the cuts could also affect the accuracy of information held by the registry.
“Inevitably, the accuracy of information held by the registry will be compromised, which will lead to increased danger for both police officers and the broader community,” he said.
“National Party MPS Thomas George and Geoff Provest need to stand up for their communities and ensure this disgraceful and dangerous decision is reversed.”
A source from within the registry, who asked not to be named, said the loss of jobs had left the future of many families “up in the air”.
“There’s going to be an extra 20-40 people who will be applying for positions in an area where jobs are few and far between,” they said.
They said staff had been forced to work on short-term contracts which were previously renewed on a monthly basis.
They said there was already a huge backlog of work with “hundreds” of permit applications sitting around because “they’re not replacing staff that are leaving”.
The news comes after Lismore MP Thomas George on Monday denied any jobs had been cut from the registry.
Mr George responded to criticism by State Labor candidate Craig Elliot by claiming “the NSW Police Force has confirmed no jobs have been lost at the Firearms Registry in Murwillumbah”.
In a letter to Mr George, the PSA invited him to meet with registry staff to clarify his comments, but Mr George did not respond.
“While we sincerely hope that you are correct, your assertion contradicts the advice that our members have been given from registry management,” the letter read.
CONCERNED: Public Service Association of NSW organiser Asren Pugh, joined by State Labor candidates Janelle Saffin and Craig Elliot, who met with concerned workers at the Murwillumbah Firearms Registry on Thursday. PHOTO: Scott Powick