Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks, has hit back at claims that the Federal Government has under-delivered on its promise of jobs at the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) building in Gosford, saying the ATO is on track to fill 600 positions at the office by mid-year.
Labor candidate for Robertson, Anne Charlton, said that many locals had been given “insecure, non-ongoing or casual jobs”.
“Many local ATO workers have expressed concern about the lack of on-going and permanent positions,” she said.
“It is not OK to have so many locals in insecure work whilst the local ATO office is using Labour Hire Contractors rather than creating full time positions.
“Adding insult to injury, many local ATO casual staff were not given shifts for four weeks during the Christmas break.
“Leaving local families with no money over Christmas to pay rent, electricity and food is an inappropriate and cruel action.”
Charlton said she would ask her Labor colleagues in Canberra to question the Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations on the issue.
But Wicks said job targets were being met.
“In 2013, we committed to delivering 600 jobs, double what we had previously pledged, and we are on track to do just that,” she said.
“Since the ATO was officially opened in April last year, 530 jobs have been created at the Gosford site.
“Of those, 486 were ATO jobs and 44 positions were created with the National Disability Insurance Agency.”
Wicks said that while she understood the number of positions fluctuated depending on the peaks and troughs of the workload, 80 per cent of the recruited ATO positions at the Gosford site were new jobs filled by Central Coast residents.
“That means eight out of every 10 people working in the newly recruited positions are from the region,” she said.
“Claims that our commitment was for 600 fulltime equivalent positions are incorrect.
“While the ATO has confirmed the bulk of the workforce at the Gosford site are fulltime and ongoing, our commitment was for 600 new jobs and those jobs would be a mix of fulltime, part-time and casual – all sorts of different roles to fit the needs and requirements of both the ATO and our workforce.
“There are also a range of development programs making use of the Gosford site, including an ATO entry-level graduate program.
“I am also pleased to see that the Gosford site is in a university partnership program where students spend a day or so a week, during their university semester, on site.
“Just recently, the University of New South Wales named the Gosford site as its most valued partner.
“We are on track to deliver what we said we would and I’m looking forward to another big announcement mid-year.”
Media release, Feb 19
Anne Charlton, Candidate for Robertson
Media release, Feb 26
Lucy Wicks, Member for Robertson