THE State Government will close its Department of Primary Industries office at Camperdown, forcing nine workers out of the town.
The DPI said it would relocate the workers to Colac or Warrnambool
as part of a state-wide shutdown of 18 DPI offices.
Corangamite Shire mayor Matt Makin said the closure was disappointing.
“Any loss of jobs for a smaller town is a worry and this can effectively remove people from the town’s population,” Cr Makin said.
“Particularly when it comes to natural turnover, because when people replace those workers they’re most likely going to choose to live closer to their jobs,” he said.
“This area is one part of Victoria where we need a boost to our population, especially in professionals.
“And we certainly hope that this move doesn’t result in a loss to services in the farming sector, but it depends on where they choose to move the workers.”
The Victorian Farmers Federation has slammed the closure, claiming it will disadvantage the district’s farmers.
“Governments need to realise the economic rationale they use to make these decisions doesn’t always apply to small regional towns,” VFF president Peter Tuohey said.
“There can be long-term impacts on communities when you relocate staff from one regional town to another,” he said.
“It’s not just about the DPI staff, it’s also other groups who use these DPI facilities who’ll be left in the lurch.”
“Closing up shop at these sites means farmers, Landcare, community weed groups and others will struggle to get the local DPI support.”