BSES announces job cuts in Bundy

AUSTRALIAN sugar industry research body BSES has revealed up to half of its Bundaberg staff will be made redundant in coming months as part of a restructure of research and development organisations.

It is expected between eight and 12 of the Bundaberg research station's staff of 22 employees will be made redundant by July.

The Ashfield Rd research facility has been marked for sale as the organisation slashes $6.3 million from its operating costs - or roughly 20% of the 2012 budget.

A nationwide reduction in the annual tonnage of sugar growers who pay a voluntary levy has contributed to the organisation's financial position.

Of the national organisation's 180 employees, as many as 35 are expected to be made redundant.

BSES chief executive officer Eoin Wallace toured the company's Queensland operations this week to deliver the news to staff.

"Our priority is to meet with these employees face-to-face and do everything we can to help with their future career decisions," he said.

"As part of the redundancy process, affected employees will be offered substantial redundancy, full leave entitlements, and out-placement services."

The redundancies come as the organisation prepares for a merger with Sugar Research and Development Corporation and Sugar Research Ltd.

BSES has lodged a development application with Bundaberg Regional Council to have the zoning of the Bundaberg research station land changed from commercial to residential.

Mr Wallis said the reforms were critical for the industry to secure a financially stable research program and for Australia to remain a world-class leader in the production of sugar on an increasingly competitive world stage.

"BSES will also work with employees to assist them in considering roles being created by the reforms in the sugar industry, including some in BSES," he said.

"The industry-led Sugar Advisory Services Development Program will also provide training and up skilling opportunities."

The new research and development organisation formed in the merger is expected to be funded by a statutory levy for growers.

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