Minister points to job loss story

JOB CUTS: Federal Health Minister Tania Plibersek holds up a copy of The Chronicle during question time.
JOB CUTS: Federal Health Minister Tania Plibersek holds up a copy of The Chronicle during question time.

THE Federal Health Minister Tania Plibersek has called on the State Government to consider the human face of job cuts.

Ms Plibersek held up a copy of The Chronicle during question time at Parliament House yesterday.

She retold the story of Toowoomba single mum Elizabeth Handley, whose plight was detailed in Tuesday's edition.

Ms Handley had worked for Queensland Health for 27 years and was informed of her redundancy last week.

She now fears she will lose her house.

Ms Handley was one of 14 people from the Darling Downs Public Health Unit to be made redundant.

Statewide 2754 Queensland Health employees were also notified of their job losses last week.

"Let's put a human face to this," Ms Plibersek said of the Queensland Health job cuts.

"You can't cut over 2700 jobs and not see the effects on frontline services."

The acting Prime Minister, Wayne Swan, also spoke about job cuts in his home state during yesterday's session.

"What we see here is a clear warning; a sneak preview of what an Abbott government could do nationally," he said.

"This is what the Liberals do.

"They take the axe to health and education."

Ms Handley also spoke to Ms Plibersek directly on the phone.

"She basically rang to express her sympathy about losing my job," Ms Handley said.

"And she asked if she could read out my name and story in parliament. She said her reasoning was to put names and faces to the numbers."

Ms Handley will now meet with Member for Toowoomba North Trevor Watts on October 25 to discuss her situation.

Mr Watts was too busy with budget commitments to talk to The Chronicle yesterday.

Topics:  public service

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