Monday 22 June 2009

Estimates Committee B (O'Byrne) - Part 1



Mr FINCH - It is good to hear you say your projection is that you are hoping to maintain your employment numbers in the department.  We have seen the figures here that you are going to have to shed from the department $9 million over the next four years.  I am wondering where those savings will be reflected in the work of Parks.

Ms O'BYRNE - Roughly $2.9 million will be through budget management strategy, including efficiencies from amalgamation where our savings will be made.  We have $1 million from the cessation of the nine‑year funding for parks and reserves maintenance that was going to end anyway.

Mr FINCH - When does that end?

Mr MOONEY - At the end of 2010-11.  

Ms O'BYRNE - We have completed the one‑off funding for the Three Capes business plan, so that is not something we have an ongoing responsibility for. 

The priority asset management plan, PAMP, finishes in 2011-12, which is $3 million a year for four years, $12 million.  We will have a lesser amount available for PAMP and going forward for PAMP.

Mr FINCH - It is in the priority asset management plan, but where is that reflected on the ground as far as efforts at savings?

Ms O'BYRNE - One of the good things about PAMP has been that it is probably one of the very rare times we have been able to do a proper audit and assessment of the projects that need to be done within Parks.  We have a list now of around 250 jobs within Parks that we might need to do.  They will vary from the Stanley Nut and the works on the Stanley Nut, whether that is part of a lookout, to potentially a toilet facility and amenities in Mt William National Park.  It will be a whole range of different things for those 250 jobs. 

The priority asset management plan has allowed us to do that auditing, to know what is there.  It has allowed us to do a number of projects already, but it means that we will probably not be able to spend the entire amount that we had hoped to spend on PAMP.

Mr FINCH - The PAMP money, was that to get the jobs completed as well?

Ms O'BYRNE - Yes.

Mr FINCH - The 250 jobs?

Mr GADD - Yes, that was a program.

Mr FINCH - Is it budgeted?

Mr GADD - That was last year's budget, $3 million a year for four years.

Mr FINCH - The jobs will be done?

Mr GADD - The jobs will be done.  We have reduced the out years by $1 million to cover the $1 million drop‑off from what we call the PAHS funding.

Ms O'BYRNE - That is another temporary funding that we got.

Mr GADD - This was a $1 million top‑up that we had for nine years.  That comes to an end during the life of the forward estimates, so we have offset that by decreasing the PAMP program from $4 million to $3 million.

Mr FINCH - There is something I want to explore with the jobs that need to be done and trying to maintain the personnel that you have now, the 271 positions.

Ms O'BYRNE - May I say, we would like to maintain the whole, but our focus is frontline positions.