The Mercury, Sue Bailey

The state’s main public sector union has questioned whether the government’s election promises for its first 100 days in office can be implemented due to key staff shortages.

But Premier Jeremy Rockliff remains optimistic that the 2030 Strong Plan for Tasmania’s Future he took to the state election will be delivered.

Community and Public Sector Union general secretary Thirza White labelled the plan a “fantasy document” which lacked credibility. “The Tasmanian public sector is already so under-resourced that in many areas it is unable to deliver on statutory obligations and now the Premier thinks he can add 73 new initiatives that he wants implemented in the next 100 days,” she said.

“Agencies are already struggling to respond to the Commission of Inquiry and make the significant changes needed to ensure our public services are child safe.

“They simply do not have the staff to deliver services to Tasmanians struggling through a cost-of-living crisis and commence 73 new initiatives immediately.

“The election was called a year early, following a Commission of Inquiry and on the back of the Covid pandemic, the last thing public sector workers need is more impossible deadlines that are about political announcements and photo opportunities, not the meaningful reform Tasmanians need.”

The government says there are 66 initiatives to be implemented in its first 100 days.

Mr Rockliff said: “Tasmanians expect us to hit the ground running.

“We’ll work productively with our agencies and GBEs and SOCs to deliver the 2030 Strong Plan for Tasmania’s Future that we took to Tasmanians, as they would expect,” he said.

Ms White said there were “very high vacancy rates” in areas including child safety, housing, parks, monitoring and compliance unit and WorkSafe and “the excessive workloads for the few remaining staff is leading to high turnover rates”.

“Even those areas responsible for recruitment have high vacancy rates which is slowing recruitment further,” she said.

“High vacancies rates and slow hiring processes is leading to excessive workloads for remaining staff contributing to a burnout.

“It is a vicious cycle, as this leads to higher turnover rates.

“With current staffing challenges in recruitment it is not unusual for it to take much longer than 100 days to recruit someone to fill a new role, so who does the Premier imagine will do this work?”

Ms White said Tasmanians needed a practical and realistic plan to address their issues “not some Americanised rhetoric”.

Share this post!

More like this