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Uncertain future for regional staff under NHT

"The future of staff employed by Catchment Councils and regional natural resource management groups remains uncertain," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"Senate Estimates today learnt that the new government has yet to decide on the changing direction of the third round of funding for the National Heritage Trust."

"There is no date set for a decision and there are no transitional arrangements in place to help organisations to keep on staff and survive a break in funding," she said.

"This is simply appalling. I cannot believe that we are making the same mistakes that were made with the first round of NHT and with the National Landcare Program – when so much of the money and effort spent on building capacity was wasted as, without the promise on ongoing employment, staff were forced to move on," said Senator Siewert.

"If the government wants to re-think the direction of NHT3 it should at least put into place transitional arrangements to guarantee that these organisations are not forced to close their doors on June 30th," she said.

"For many of us it feels like were back to groundhog day," she concluded.

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