Our national parks rely on parks staff on so many levels, from managing tourism to fighting fires. Sadly, in Tasmania, austerity measures have been imposed on Department of Primary Industry, Parks, Water & the Environment (DPIPWE) employees, which includes park rangers and other Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) staff.

Please add your voice and oppose the cut backs.

The CPSU (Community and Public Sector Union) recently released a report on the austerity measures. As public servants, rangers are forbidden from publicly airing their grievances. If you value our national parks and reserves please speak up on behalf of the people who manage them.

Write a short email to the following:

Peter Gutwein  Minister for the Environment, Parks and Heritage
Alison Standen  Shadow (Labor) Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage
Guy Barnett       Minister for Primary Industries and Water
Shane Broad      Shadow (Labor) Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Water

Points you could make: –

Explain who you are and that you oppose austerity measures being imposed on DPIPWE employees.

DPIPWE employees (including PWS staff) are called on whenever there are crises in Tasmania, including, most recently, deployment to the COVID-19 response and the mass whale strandings on the West Coast. DPIPWE employees were called on in the 2016 Northern Tasmania and 2018 Hobart floods and the 2019 bushfire emergency. We depend on them – they are our surge workforce and they are essential workers.

Employment in DPIPWE is often precarious; a growing number of staff are on seasonal contracts and there is no income security.

The PWS fights fires in our National Parks and reserves, including in remote areas.

The PWS has to make do with vehicles that are not fit for purpose, including when fighting fires.

Recently PWS visitor service workers were removed from Maria Island in order to fill vacancies at the Triabunna visitor information centre. Maria has a high visitation rate – who will be there to assist visitors to the island?

Professional, experienced and dedicated park planners with a wealth of knowledge are being sidelined in favour of consultants whose focus is on commercial tourism opportunities in our National Parks rather than on looking after our parks.

If we value our Parks we must value those who look after them. These essential workers must to be adequately funded and resourced to do what they have to do and they need to be treated as the dedicated professionals that they are, with secure employment conditions.

Thanks. Sending a quick letter will make a difference to park employees and hence our wonderful national park estate.