Hub halt not a fair cop: union

Budget papers indicate the Government has spent just $3000 on the $25.4 million hub next to the former Claremont Station signal box up till June 30 this year, after Premier Colin Barnett announced in 2010 it would open in 2014 to house Wembley, Cottesloe and Claremont officers. The budget allocated no money for the hub in this or the next three financial years, until $5.629 million in forward estimates for 2016-17.

Police Union president George Tilbury said the lack of a hub compromised the safety and security of officers, and it was understood the delay had mainly been caused by diverting funds to the Kununurra police complex.

‘The lack of a fit-for-purpose police facility (in the western suburbs) will not aid any advancement to utilising police resources more effectively and efficiently,’ Mr Tilbury said.

The budget’s spending changes outline $1.404 million for ‘public sector workforce reform’ at the 55-staff Swan River Trust until 2016-17, but no money for a $110,000 a year environmental compliance officer for the Elizabeth Quay development after this financial year.

‘The Trust is an efficient organisation and any cuts to jobs will result in cuts to programs and the work currently undertaken, resulting in difficulties addressing the failing health of the river,’ Community and Public Sector Union branch secretary Toni Walkington said.

Environment Minister Albert Jacob’s spokeswoman said while $16.25 million of election promises for Swan River health and infrastructure had not been funded, they would be met during the Government’s second term but she did not directly reply to how many job cuts were anticipated at the Trust by 2016-17, a year after new councils have responsibility for the river’s midpoints.

‘The general manager of the Swan River Trust is currently working through workforce reform measures, as they relate to the Government’s voluntary redundancy program,’ she said.