Labor concerned over job cuts to Service NSW

By Shannon Jenkins

Friday December 6, 2019

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The New South Wales government will be slashing jobs from its Department of Customer Service in an attempt to shave more than $100 million off its worker related expenses, but it hasn’t said how many.

In questions to a budget estimates hearing, Labor asked how Service NSW plans to reduce employee related expenses from $256 million last financial year to $146 million in 2019-20.

The state government revealed there would be cuts to full-time equivalent positions across the Department of Customer Service cluster — including Service NSW — as part of a range of initiatives to manage budget limits.

“These initiatives include the consolidation of common corporate services and customer-facing functions, as well as reducing or stopping activities with minimal customer impact,” it said.

It has not been revealed how many jobs would be lost, but a spokesperson for Finance, Services and Property Minister Victor Dominello has said frontline Service NSW roles would be safe.

There are 235 Service NSW locations across the state, but only two call centres; one in Newcastle, and one in Parramatta, which together employ 550 people.

Shadow Minister for Better Public Services, Sophie Cotsis, recently pointed out that roughly 70% of Service NSW centres are located in regional areas. She called on the state government to explain how service delivery in regional areas would be maintained in light of the cuts.

“The government must reveal details of its planned job cuts because they are likely to make it harder for people to access basic services like driving tests and cost-of-living assistance,” she said.

“These job cuts will also make it harder for people to access help if they are affected by drought or bushfires.”

Back in August, the agency became the first public service entity in Australia to be included on the Great Place to Work list.

At the time, Service NSW CEO Damon Rees noted that the team had grown to almost 3000 employees, with more than 40% working in regional NSW.

 

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