LOCAL jobs could be on the line if the National Parks and Wildlife Service decides to go ahead with a planned restructure of its operational boundaries across the state, with rumours up to 350 positions state-wide will go in coming years.
While The Daily Examiner has not been able to verify numbers or details with an official representative of NPWS, Woody Head camp ground manager and Clarence Valley Councillor Karen Toms said she had been in discussion with local NPWS employees who were devastated by the decision announced internally on Monday.
"It looks like Clarence north and Clarence south will merge and the Iluka peninsula, including Woody Head, Iluka Bluff and Woombah will be excised from the Clarence, to be managed by a regional office in Alstonville as 66 areas are reduced to 50," Cr Toms said.
"At this stage it's difficult to know what impact it will have on staff in Grafton, but with around 150 staff expected to lose their jobs around the state, it does leave a question mark."
She said there was also a concern for the revenue stream provided by Woody Head camping ground, operated by NPWS, which she estimated to be about $200,000 pa, and how that money may be spent in the future.
"Money generated from Woody Head has been used in the region for a number of local conservation and research projects.
"What I fear will happen is that different people will have other priorities for that money and we may see an impact on these projects in the future."
"I think its bad news for the Clarence Valley."
Cr Toms said, as the manager of Woody Head camp ground, the decision would not have an affect on her role with the park, but it would mean in the future she would be dealing with a different group of people.
Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis said while he had not been made aware of any changes, other than what he had heard from the community over the past few days, he would be making further inquiries.
"I'm due to meet with officers of the National Parks and Wildlife Services shortly," he said.