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What does VicRoads future mean for Shepparton workers?

By James Bennett

The Australian Services Union is concerned employees at the VicRoads Shepparton Centre could lose their jobs if the Victorian Government privatises VicRoads.

Although Treasurer Tim Pallas has told parliament the government is "exploring options", it is unclear what the next move would be.

The union believes if a full or part-privatisation goes ahead it would affect the workers in Shepparton and regional Victoria.

It believes jobs and wages would be cut.

Australian Services Union assistant branch secretary Leon Wiegard said the government was not thinking about regional Victorian workers.

“Treasurer Tim Pallas has answered questions about the part-privatisation of VicRoads in parliament but hasn’t once mentioned the jobs of hardworking staff at the Shepparton Customer Service Centre,” Mr Wiegard said.

“Any form of privatisation is a huge hit to regional communities where state authorities provide permanent, secure jobs with decent pay and working conditions.”

“The Andrews Government is so focused on the money that will come from the part-privatisation of VicRoads that they have forgotten that people’s jobs and family incomes are at stake.

“When a bank leaves town the impact ripples through the whole community, and it’d be the same if VicRoads’ Shepparton Customer Service Centre were to close.”

Mr Pallas previously said exploring future options was part of the commitment made in the last budget to ensure taxpayers were getting value for money.

“Just to clarify, we are undertaking a detailed scoping study to investigate future options for the VicRoads registration and licensing division,” Mr Pallas told parliament on October 31.

“We are looking at a range of options, including the role of Service Victoria and, might I say, the private sector.

“We are not against working with the private sector to improve services and to benefit motorists.”