The NSW DPI has received complaints after its latest decision to cut a conservation manager on the NSW south coast. Member for Bega, Andrew Constance has questioned the New South Wales Government’s decision to cut a front-line fisheries position at Batemans Bay.
Constance has demanded the Minister for Primary Industries explain why the fisheries conservation manager role at Batemans Bay will be wound up. The position currently provides aquatic advice to oyster farmers, recreational anglers and councils and will be cut on July 1, along with two similar positions in NSW.
Constance says those seeking fisheries advice on the far south coast will suffer as a result of the State Government’s decision.
“This is a function within fisheries designed to enforce habitat protection legislation, provide advice on aquatic habitat protection and threatened species management to a raft of agencies from councils through to the catchment management authority,” he said.
“The other role relates to the development of strategies to protect aquatic habitat and fish stock.”
After July, fisheries conservation managers at Tumut, Dubbo, Batemans Bay and Tamworth will lose their jobs or have to relocate when six positions are reduced to three based at Dubbo Albury and Cronulla.
Bill Talbot, NSW DPI’s Director of Fisheries Conservation and Aquaculture, said it was a necessary response to budget constraints.
“All agencies have to look at their budgets closely in these current circumstances, it’s primarily a response to restricted funding.
We’ve got about 30 staff involved in the conservation area that I’m looking after, and it’s a matter of reorganising duties so that the key things are done and nothing important drops through the cracks.”