Rangers asked to take on the toilets

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Grey nomads and other campers are being warned that budget cuts could mean toilets are not cleaned in some New South Wales national parks.

Public Service Association (PSA) of NSW Industrial Officer Geo Papas said toilet cleaning, rubbish removal, lawn mowing and general maintenance had already been hit, with park rangers and office workers told to take up the slack.

“Park rangers are being asked to clean toilets because cleaning contracts have been cut,” Mr Papas said in a statement on Friday. “They are being asked to take rubbish home with them because rubbish removal contracts have been cut.”

He says the 20 per cent budget cuts had particularly affected parks in the Blue Mountains, Kuring-gai and the Royal National Park.

The PSA says it has advised its members to boycott the cleaning jobs, which used to be done by outside contractors.

“We have told our members to not do the work – it simply is not part of their job description,” Mr Papas told the Daily Telegraph. “What we’re saying (to campers) is bring your own lawn mower, toilet paper and toilet brush.”

Mr Papas said the union was very concerned about the reduction in the budget for the metropolitan branch and reductions through all national parks, especially as thousands of campers are expected to flood the national parks during the Christmas holidays.

The Environment Department has rejected the union’s claim of a 20 per cent cut to budgets.

“NPWS operating budgets have not been cut by 20 per cent,” a spokesperson said. “Nonetheless all agencies, including NPWS, are expected to make productivity savings as part of improved efficiency in service delivery.”

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