Water jobs to stay in Foster

WATER WISE: Gippsland South MLA Danny O’Brien is hailing South Gippsland Water’s plan to stay in Foster as a victory for people power.

SOUTH Gippsland Water’s decision to stay in Foster has been hailed as a win for people power.

But there are no guarantees the water authority won’t up and leave after 2023.

Gippsland South MLA Danny O’Brien said the decision for SGW to stay in the short term was a credit to the people of Foster and the Corner Inlet area.

“Just last week in Parliament I tabled a further 600 signatures on petitions, taking the tally to over 1600 people who have signed the petition against the proposed move from Foster,” he said.

“It’s a great credit to the people of Corner Inlet and the Foster Chamber of Commerce, which saw the potential loss of 50 jobs in their town and rallied to oppose it.

 “I’m pleased that we have had a win on this occasion, but am conscious that it is somewhat of a stay of execution and South Gippsland Water still has plans to review its office arrangements in three or four years’ time.”

Mr O’Brien said he and the community were willing to work with South Gippsland Water to help address its internal accommodation challenges, but he remains opposed to any move of the corporate head office from Foster.

“I think there is time now for us to work with the government and South Gippsland Water to do our best to accommodate their staff, but I still see no reason for any move out of Foster,” he said.

“I’ve always loved the fact that there is a State Government agency headquarters in a small town such as Foster, and the 50 jobs that go with it are critical to the local economy. 

“We need to get creative on how the corporation’s needs can be met without damaging a great little town in South Gippsland.”

Foster Chamber of Commerce’s Phil Rerden said it was “extremely gratifying” that SGW had decided to stay in the short term.

“It’s a definitely a positive outcome for Foster, the Corner Inlet community and South Gippsland Water customers,” he said.

“Taking 50 jobs out of Foster would be like taking 500 out of Wonthaggi. The move is off the table in the short to medium term.

“Our hope is that community and government can work on a sustainable plan that will see more government agencies located in places like Foster.”

South Gippsland Water was contacted for comment.

Short URL: https://thestar.com.au/?p=30273

Posted by on Oct 29 2019. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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