Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee
Department of Agriculture
Senator RHIANNON: Chair, could I please ask a question of the secretary that is fairly general?
CHAIR: What about?
Senator RHIANNON: If you let me ask the question then you will find out.
CHAIR: Be quick.
Senator RHIANNON: Mr Secretary, are there any plans within the department to pursue redundancies or job cuts that have already been planned?
Dr Grimes : Senator, we covered this earlier today. We are currently in the process of a voluntary redundancy program. Our current planning target is around 220 voluntary redundancies. As I explained to the committee this morning, our budget situation is a little different from that of other departments because we rely so heavily on cost recovered revenue, so our planning can move depending on what is happening with cost recovered revenues. Of course, the final number of VRs would depend on ongoing natural attrition that we have in the department.
Senator RHIANNON: Does that mean that there will be no forced redundancies?
Dr Grimes : We are not planning on any forced redundancies; we are planning on a voluntary redundancy process.
Senator RHIANNON: So no discussions that could lead to that?
Dr Grimes : No, it would be far too premature. We are planning on a voluntary redundancy program, and that process will run over coming months.
Senator Abetz: This is all from that which was in the pipeline that we inherited.