Last year the NSW government announced that the state’s environmental agencies would face “efficiency cuts” of $20 million this year, with the National Parks and Wildlife Service to bear the brunt of much of the funding cuts, and a tipster tells us that the effects are being felt within the agency. According to our tipster, there have been many redundancies at the NPWS, with many staff, including park rangers, required to reapply for their jobs in a “spill and fill”. We’ve asked the Department of Environment just how many jobs are set to go, and what that will mean for the national parks (which are actually looked after by states), and were told by a spokesperson:

“No staff have been made redundant.  However, in common with all government agencies, NPWS periodically makes offers of voluntary redundancies so that they can better align the workforce with delivering priority programs and services to the community.  50 voluntary redundancies were approved in the 2015/16 financial year for roles from across all NPWS.

These changes will not affect the delivery of emergency response, fire management, visitor services and important conservation work.”

We also asked about the privatisation of some services offered by NPWS and were told:

“NPWS has for many years sourced a range of services from contractors, from expert engineering and geotechnical advice through to helicopter pilots to seasonal cleaning of toilets and facilities. NPWS is constantly reviewing the effectiveness of contracted services to ensure best value from the expenditure of public funds.”