FORESTS NSW is planning to slash jobs to rein in costs, targeting officers who supervise loggers, check for threatened species and undertake hazard reduction and bushfire fighting.Staff fear that the loss of up to 70 jobs would give loggers a free-for-all in NSW state forests.One worker, whose job is at risk and who asked not to be named, said the reduced level of supervision could ”open it up for a Brazilian or Indonesian type of logging system”.”Contractors are profit-driven whereas we are here for the long-term future of the Australian bush,” the man said.The supervising forestry officers in the firing line perform a vital role in logging operations.They mark out which trees can be harvested and which should be left as a resource for future growth.They also identify any threatened species of flora and fauna, mark buffer zones around creeks and rivers and then supervise the operations, ensuring environmental standards are met.Officers also do hazard-reduction burning, maintain access to fire trails and are often first to fight bushfires.One Taree state forest officer said if he kept his job, his workload would triple. ”You are only going to be checking one-third of what you used to check. You won’t be as effective,” he said.The cuts incensed the Australian Workers Union. Its state secretary, Russ Collison, said: ”I was quite irate that they would make those announcements without adequate discussion and also because there have been dramatic reductions in staff over the last few years.”We believe it would be impossible to cut that many jobs and still maintain a safe forest industry.”Ian Macdonald, the Minister for Mineral and Forest Resources, said all cuts would be voluntary.
Nanjing Night Net