Calls to rebuild state’s Building and Asset Services (BAS) in wake of Townsville floods
“Outsourcing costs more, delivers less” ETU
The Electrical Trades Union has called for urgent action to ensure the state government’s Building and Asset Services (BAS) is rebuilt following years of neglect. Stating the department doesn’t have the frontline staff and resources to deal with natural disasters such as the devastating Townsville floods.
The ETU’s state secretary Peter Ong said outsourcing which started during the Newman years and had continued under the current government has seen the department’s permanent workforce decrease from around 650 to just 120 state wide. With just 20 permanent electricians employed.
“We have a natural disaster In Townsville where it is more important than ever for the government to be able to respond in a timely and coordinated way to rebuild this traumatised community. We believe the way BAS is structured at the movement with its reliance on contractors, its effectiveness will be severely undermined and response times will be inadequate,” Mr Ong said.
“We know that contractors are harder to coordinate and they are inevitably more costly. Put simply outsourcing costs more and delivers less,” He said.
Ong used the example of state owned and properly resourced Ergon and Energex to point out what should happen.
“Frontline electricity workers can be deployed within a 24 hour period. That is what it used to be like in BAS the old QBuild before this failed outsourcing experiment was implemented”
Ong called for the state government to immediately rebuild BAS by increasing the numbers of frontline staff.
“ETU members and their union call on the state government and Minister de Brenni to make good their promises to rebuild BAS which starts by increasing the numbers of frontline staff so it is once again able to respond in a timely and cost effective way when the next natural disaster inevitably occurs”