Karen Toms.
Karen Toms. Adam Hourigan

Some good news on jobs

THERE has been a victory for our region's national parks after plans to shift the responsibility of Iluka and Woombah peninsula to the Richmond Valley were axed.

Karen Toms, the manager of Woody Head Camping Area and chair of the Iluka Consultative Committee, said the move may have saved six jobs and it was "fantastic news".

She said National Parks and Wildlife Services had planned to amalgamate Clarence North and South and shift Iluka and Woombah out of the Clarence North, which could have meant job losses for the region.

"They changed their mind and are leaving it as it is, which is great news, but I'm not sure whether there will be more budget cuts later," Ms Toms said.

A spokesman from NPWS said boundaries of management areas had been changed in the Lower Clarence, specifically on the southern side of the river, but that the Iluka peninsula will "generally" continue under the current reporting arrangements.

A number of boundary changes to areas across the state were made after consultation with staff and after considering distribution of comparative workload across the proposed areas, which included consideration of relationships with local communities," he said.

The department is cutting $101 million from its budget and 350 jobs will be cut statewide.

Five local NPWS jobs to deal with native vegetation issues were announced as part of Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner's visit to Grafton. They are in the Office of Environment and Heritage.

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