Lismore Office Locations: Anything but an LOL - Public Service Association

Lismore Office Locations: Anything but an LOL

Your union has been well aware of both the substandard quality of your current temporary accommodation and the secretive planning around your relocation following the floods of February 2022. We appreciate how frustrating this has been on top of your already demanding child protection roles. Behind the scenes we have been agitating for the Department to secure more appropriate office space than what it had proposed and to do so in a more transparent manner. And I am pleased to advise that following discussions with Minister Washington’s office, we have had a breakthrough.

It has changed almost every week and much of it hasn’t seemingly progressed further than a private spreadsheet, however the proposal for Lismore Office had included short-term, medium-term and long-term solutions spread between Lismore, Goonellabah and even Ballina. It was evidence to the PSA that those making the decisions were not speaking to those impacted by them the most – you.  Last week the Minister’s office has advised us:

  1. There will be “frontline” office space established in 17 Conway Street early next year. This will be used in the longer term for public contact;
  2. There will also be a longer-term office in Molesworth Street Lismore which will be primarily office space for administrative duties and casework, but not public contact;
  3. Finally, there will also be an office at Goonellabah long term for both administrative functions and public contact.

So the plan is to go from one office to three. Offices are all fine and good but your union will now pursue the more important question, who, and now many, will staff them.

The slow-moving but constantly changing debacle around what should have been a simple relocation is demonstrative of one of our broader concerns, that the bureaucracy of the Department needs a trim and a refocus. Too many senior-level head office managers appear to believe the frontline child protection staff work for them and not vice versa. Their role is to support your essential operational roles, not be their own silo.

Once again, your patience has been greatly appreciated and undeserved. Let this be the first step in getting Lismore Community Services Centre back to the level the local community needs.

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