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Biosecurity workbans begin in four weeks

WITH LESS than four weeks until Biosecurity Tasmania (BT) staff impose work bans on overtime Minister Rockliff has done nothing to resolve the issues.

On 10 September the CPSU advised the Minister and his Department they had until 16 November to resolve the resourcing crisis facing BT otherwise a ban would be placed on overtime.

“Our Members are tired of being expected to work excessive hours that eat into their family time to prop up a system that is critically underfunded,” CPSU General Secretary Tom Lynch said.

After a round of meetings between BT management and staff in September a communication was sent to all staff that included the following observation:

Two recommendations voiced at all three staff forums:

  1. More staff are required to meet the demand of the coming summer period; and
  2. Even with more staff, not all demand can be met, so this must be prioritized and clearly communicated to staff in terms of their daily roles and responsibilities

“Minister Rockliff is placing Tasmania’s growing export industry at risk because of his failure to address the under resourcing of Biosecurity Tasmania,” Mr Lynch said.

The CPSU has also learned that BT has delayed a promised increase in detector dog teams.  In early May Minister Rockliff made a big splash announcing the number of detector dogs and handlers would be increased from 6 to 9 teams.  At the time he said:

“Never before has our biosecurity been so important with a record number of visitors travelling to Tasmania, as well as increasing trade, particularly with China following the recent Free Trade Agreement”.

“Minister Rockliff is big on announcements but very poor when it comes to actually delivering services on the ground.  If our State’s biosecurity is as important as he claims why won’t he act to ensure Biosecurity Tasmania has adequate resources,” Mr Lynch said.

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