The NPWS Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) meeting was held on Thursday 14 September 2023, a range of matters were discussed and their impact on members.
A new law enforcement database is almost up and running. This is a major step forward for recording offences. Further to this a ‘load bearing vest’ and body worn cameras have been trialed with results to be forthcoming soon.
After numerous requests, the PSA has received a copy of the ‘Summary Report safety management system for law enforcement compliance’ (the Risk- E business report). Delegates will be reviewing this report, which has just been made available on the Parksite Intranet.
UNIFORM REFERENCE GROUP (URG)
Discussion was had in relation to the new uniform. In particular the need for an effective jacket to keep members warm during winter across the state. The meeting was advised by the department that the URG is to be reconstituted to review the uniform and survey staff on the new issue.
MACHINERY of GOVERNMENT (MoG)
Acting Environment and Heritage Coordinator-General Atticus Fleming and Acting Deputy Secretary, National Parks and Wildlife Service Naomi Stephens attended and advised the meeting that the full detail of changes resulting from the MoG has not yet been fully provided by the NSW Government. The Department of Planning and Environment will be split in two with NPWS staff going to the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEHW). Senior managers are being mindful of the practical implications for staff of the new department. The meeting was advised that it was a good outcome to have our own department and will not impact upon operational staff.
Additional funding of $80M will be provided in the budget for the Great Koala National Park. As it was a key election promise. Election promises will keep the NPWS budget in good shape for the financial year. Further to this many of the roles managing flora reserves will be converted to ongoing.
NATIONAL EMERGENCY MEDAL
The PSA opened the discussion by describing the medal ceremony as a debacle, with incorrect names; some applicants going away without medals and some not being recognised. An apology was given at the meeting by NPWS for this.
The PSA asked for an update on the actions from last years’ career progression.
A response was provided including a range of management development plans for Grade 11/12 Clerks for the preparation of ‘My Talent Plans’ and also Leadership training. There is also a buddying program being developed for Clerk 3/4’s and 5/6’s, and the review of the Ranger progression system that is underway.
The PSA noted that the report also covered flexible work arrangements and asked that flexible work arrangements for Rangers be reviewed.
RANGER SURVEY – NPWS
In addition to the matters discussed at the JCC, the PSA has been advised by members that a survey has been circulated to Rangers asking a number of questions in relation to work location and duties. The survey is intended to be gathering information to enable NPWS to better support Rangers in their duties. The PSA encourages all Rangers to complete the survey, this would give us a clear indication of workloads and priorities.