DFES Midwest position made redundant

The Government has come under fire after confirmation that a position within the Department of Fire and Safety (DFES) Geraldton has been made redundant.

Labor Party's Darren West MLC questioned the redundancy of the position in Parliament on September 25th.

Mr West asked, “Can the minister confirm this position has been made redundant? If yes to, what is the rationale for making the job redundant?”

Minister for commerce, Michael Mischin replied, “Yes, the temporary contract position will cease as of 30 November 2014.

“The community emergency services manager position was fully funded by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services in 2009 as a two-year contract position through to 2011 to provide assistance and support to local governments and pastoralists in the Murchison Gascoyne region,” he said.

“This was with the intent that, during this period, the five local Governments serviced by the CESM position would consider co-funding it as a permanent local government authority–DFES position, as is the case with the other 24 CESM positions throughout Western Australia.

“Unfortunately, the five local governments have advised that they are not able to financially contribute to this proposal. DFES has in good faith continued to fund the position and extend the contract on an annual basis since 2011.”

Mr West expressed his concern as to who would now provide land management advice in the Midwest.

Mr Mischin assured Mr West that there would still be other permanent staff members based in the Midwest.

“The DFES Midwest Gascoyne region has six other permanent LGA–DFES co-funded CESMs and nine DFES operational employees who are based within the Midwest Gascoyne region and will continue to assist DFES with the regional preparedness, prevention, response and recovery support to all local governments and pastoralists in the region,” Mr Mischin said.

Mr Mischin also said that the full-time equivalent position had not been transferred to a metropolitan area.