Federal Richmond MP Justine Elliot has attacked state Tweed MP Geoff Provest over his coalition government’s move to relocate the Tweed Heads motor vehicle registry, which will cost several jobs as a result.
The federal member says she has had to jump in on the state issue because Mr Provest won’t help the affected staff, despite calls for help.
‘I won’t be silenced on this, when the state member won’t stand up for employees in this electorate,’ Mrs Elliot said.
‘This is a prelude to the federal coalition’s Workchoices all over again… in Queensland the Newman government has cut 14,000 jobs; in NSW Mr O’Farrell has cut many public-servant jobs by stealth; and on it goes.
‘I won’t stand by when their state representative won’t fight for them.’
She has called on Mr Provest to ‘come clean on how many jobs are being cut from the registry’.
The state government is set to close the Tweed Motor Registry at Machinery Drive, South Tweed, and intend to merge the service with other government agencies in a new location at Rivendell Drive, South Tweed.
‘Many local workers at the Tweed Motor Registry have been told their jobs are being cut when the motor registry closes and they will not have a job when the new service opens,’ Mrs Elliot said in a statement.
‘This is devastating for local families and shows you just can’t trust Geoff Provest and the National Party,’ she said.
Requests by Echonetdaily to Mr Provest for comment have so far been unsuccessful.
Mrs Elliot said that in June 2009, Mr Provest had praised the registry staff in a media release detailing answers to questions he had asked of the then state Labor government over registry jobs.
The release was headed ‘Tweed RTA motor registry doing more with less… a tribute to the hard-working Tweed RTA public servants’.
Mr Provest in that release said that answers to his parliamentary questions had revealed that the office had been stripped of two positions despite increasing demand.
‘In 2007, six full-time staff and seven part-time officers served an average of 5,776 customers per month,’ Mr Provest had said.
‘The office has since lost two full-time positions, yet it is now serving more than 10,000 customers each month with an average waiting time of just four minutes.
‘This is a tribute to the hard-working Tweed RTA public servants, who are delivering despite Labor cost cutting.’
Mrs Elliot has reversed that position by asking Mr Provest in her press release a series of questions including ‘how many people currently employed at the Tweed Motor Registry are being sacked when you close it?’
She also asked how many people currently employed at the Tweed Motor Registry will be employed at the new government service centre.