A PLAN hatched by the State Government to corporatise Forests NSW is likely to be just the first step in a path of job shedding, rationalisation and eventual privatisation of the publicly owned body according to Greens NSW Forestry spokesperson David Shoebridge.
Concerned Forests NSW staff in Coffs Harbour spoke with a Public Service Association member today about how turning the department into a state owned corporation could possibly affect them.
Mr Shoebridge said that there's one obvious possibility.
"The only explanation for this planned corporatisation is to take our state forests and plantations one step closer to being fully privatised," Mr Shoebridge said.
"Corporatising Forests NSW will allow Minister Hodgkinson to avoid Ministerial accountability for the actions of the government appointed board."
The Greens MP added that the move will add further pressure to staff that are already suffering the stress of increased workloads.
"Forests NSW workers across regional NSW will now be facing further pressure from a new corporate employer that will have even less scruples than the O'Farrell government when it comes to job shedding," he said.
"Barry O'Farrell's job cuts to Forests NSW nurseries, research staff and workshops now look like just the beginning from a government that has shown it is committed to profits before people.
"State Forests in NSW are an important repository of biodiversity in this state and must be protected from this Government's anti-science, anti-jobs and anti-environment agenda."