Environment portfolio has lost 450 jobs

MORE than 450 jobs will have been cut from the Federal Government's environment portfolio over the past two years, come this July, Senate estimates heard on Monday.

The job cuts included 146 Environment Department employees made redundant since July last year, with a further 11 to come before the end of June this year.

Officials told a Senate estimates committee budget papers also showed a further 299 further redundancies would be sought during the 2014-15 fiscal year, including 184 in the department.

But the departmental officials said the cuts were being offered as part of an ongoing round of voluntary redundancies, but that if the numbers weren't enough, forced redundancies could happen.

Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters, who questioned the staff on the job cuts, said they were concerning given the recent findings of the Gladstone harbour bund wall review.

That review, released two weeks ago, found monitoring and compliance problems within the department, and specifically identified resources and staffing as a key issue.

"With the rash of coal and gas mining threatening our environment, and a government intent on ticking and flicking even the most destructive projects; we need a properly resourced Environment Department to check that developers and mining magnates are complying with environmental conditions," Sen Waters said.

The job cuts are part of some 16,500 jobs expected to be cut from the Commonwealth public service, including some previous redundancies, outlined in the Abbott government's first budget.

Topics:  environment

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Valley stalwart John O'Brien passes away

BIG LOSS: John O'Brien (left) had a passion for rugby league.

John O'Brien passed away last Friday at the age of 82.

Tour gives a valuable ag insight

FIRST-HAND: Withcott Seedlings compliance manager Joe Shiels talks to participants of the the pilot AgWork tour.

The pilot AgWork tour was held last week.

Lake Clarendon says no way to bullying

STAND TOGETHER: Principal Susan Wright and school captains Xanthea Kugel and Felicity Boon with the anti-bullying pledge.

Take a stand and say 'No way!' to bullying

Local Partners