Local Council road maintenance jobs at risk under Govt's reclassification plan

NSW Labor is demanding the Government guarantee the transfer of 15,000 kilometres of rural and regional roads to the State will go ahead without hurting local Councils.

It comes after the Government issued a Request for Information regarding roads maintenance contractors, throwing into question the job security of thousands of Local Government employees. The Government is seeking to understand the suppliers available, the geographical area they can service and their capability. 

The Shadow Minister for Local Government Greg Warren said the Government should be prioritising the thousands of Council workers who maintain the roads, instead of outsourcing to contractors. 

“This means those Council workers now have no protection or job security going forward. How can the Government put the future of thousands of Local Government jobs at risk in the middle of a pandemic?” Mr Warren said. 

“The Government’s election commitment to transfer 15,000 kilometres of road to the State was meant to help ease financial burdens on Councils. Instead it will mean less funding and job losses across regional NSW. It’s disgraceful.” 

The Shadow Minister for Rural Roads Mick Veitch said every rural and regional Council across NSW will be impacted if the Government outsources roads maintenance jobs. 

“We have always said no Council should be worse off under this exercise. The Government must immediately withdraw it’s Request for Information and instead sit down with Mayors and Councillors to chart a course where no Council will be worse off,” Mr Veitch said. 

“We’re in the middle of a global pandemic and national recession This is about saving jobs in rural and regional NSW.”  

A Transport for NSW report previously confirmed the Government is looking to rip more than $151.5 million in grants from rural and regional Councils every year when 15,000 kilometres of Council-owned roads is transferred to the State.