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Mulherin demands ag job answers

THERE remains no word on how regional Queensland will be affected by job cuts in the Department of Agriculture, as Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mulherin demands the minister show his hand.

Mr Mulherin - who previously led the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries when he was in government - said it was time for new minister John McVeigh to declare how many jobs would be slashed.

He released a missive from DAFF director-general Jack Noye that Mr Mulherin said went to the department's entire staff.

The letter sent on Monday stated that a six-month restructure would begin the next day, ensuring "frontline and support services" even as savings were found.

"The restructuring of business areas will result in staff reductions," the letter read.

The overall changes and savings would be confirmed during the budget process in September.

A spokeswoman for Minister McVeigh confirmed the letter, saying "the majority of savings" would come from corporate and head office, including finance, project management, and HR amongst others.

The department's goal was to double food and fibre production by 2040 while meeting budget targets.

The number of jobs it would have to cut to reach that goal remained unclear.

In July, Mr Mulherin flagged that up to 550 jobs would be torn from the department but Mr McVeigh said although there would be cuts, they would affect fisheries patrols or other frontline services.

However, Mr McVeigh would not be drawn on the amount of cuts.

Mr Mulherin said the minister knew how many were going but was forcing them to wait six weeks for the news.

"The majority of Agriculture Department jobs are in regional areas and slashing them will have huge impacts on regional service delivery and local communities."

DAFF has four main regional offices in Toowoomba, Longreach, Rockhampton and Townsville plus another five in Brisbane.

It has more than 150 offices of different sizes across regional Queensland.

Topics:  department of agriculture tim mulherin


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