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Government must support councils so no worker loses their job

  • Government should provide financial support to councils to give relief to ratepayers
  • Rates relief must not come at the expense of local government jobs
  • Local government has vital role to play during COVID-19 crisis

The Labor party has called on the government to make sure that no one in the public sector loses their job during the COVID-19 crisis.

Labor Leader Rebecca White won a guarantee yesterday from the Premier that every State Government worker – including people in permanent, part time, casual and fixed-term contract positions – will keep their jobs and have their wages, conditions and average weekly earnings maintained into the future.

“The Premier also guaranteed that casual workers would be able to access special leave so they can be paid if they need to self-isolate,” Ms White said.

“Now the Premier must also guarantee that no local government employee will lose their job during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Local government is an important employer across regional Tasmania and delivers essential services including public health, waste management and environmental health.

“Councils could take on further roles to support their communities through this crisis period, including through helping to deliver COVID-19 public health and community recovery measures, potentially employing more people at a time when many Tasmanians have lost their jobs.”

Ms White said the Premier must underwrite relief for ratepayers.

“Rates relief for households and businesses is a critical measure to help cushion the impact of this crisis on people’s daily lives.

“Local government must not be put in a position of having to decide between providing financial relief to their ratepayers or keeping on a worker.

“Too many people have already lost work in Tasmania, and the government must do everything possible to save the jobs people still have.

“We have called on the Premier to use additional funds from the state budget to support councils through this difficult time.

“The Parliament yesterday passed additional appropriation bills that give the Government capacity to do this.”

Rebecca White
Labor Leader