More job cuts have been announced for almost 500 employees
who are currently working at the Stockton, Tomaree and Kanangra disability
The closure of these disability centres was announced in
2015 and initial reports noted that 126 nursing jobs would be terminated as the
centres prepare to close down in 2020.

The number, however,
has ballooned to include another 350 positions like doctors, kitchen hands, disability
support workers and many more.
There are significant concerns that the job cuts will have a
substantial effect on the 300 residents within the Stockton, Tomaree and
Kanangra disability centres.
These 300 residents are being moved to 88 separate group
homes next year and there are worries the job cuts will affect the move.
The NSW Labor government is appealing to the Berejiklian
government to reconsider the huge cuts.

Shadow Minister for the Hunter and Member for Port Stephens, Kate Washington says these staff cuts will cause unnecessary upset.

“The closure of these disability centres has already caused a lot of stress for residents, families and staff.” says Miss Washington.

Member for Newcastle, Tim Crakanthorp has also condemned the job cuts.

“I hoped Minister Ward would bring a fresh approach to disability issues, but instead he is delivering the same old Liberal agenda of cutting jobs and services,” Mr Crakanthorp says.

This new job cut announcement is inconsistent with what the
Liberal Party promised in March 2014 when the Minister for Disability Service,
John Ajaka, told parliament:
“To address concerns held by some staff, I have met with representatives
from the Stockland branches of the NSW Nurses Association and Public Service
Association and I reiterate that this Government will provide continuing
employment for all those who want it.”
These extra job cuts have angered staff and union members
who are now unsure of their future.
The nurses’ unions, NSW Nurses and Midwives Association and
the Public Service association, will be holding meetings shortly to measure the
feelings and gauge the upset staff are feeling.
They say they are currently considering their options but
feel the future is ‘bleak’.

The job cuts are rumoured to be caused by financial pressure
of the NDIS, which initially promised more employment for disability workers
when it was first introduced.
Image: ABC