(Australian Associated Press)
With the COVID-19 pandemic proving many public sector jobs can be done from anywhere, the NSW government is pushing for civil servants to do them from the regions.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro on Wednesday announced more senior public servants would be based in regional communities under his government’s new “Regional Workforce Principles” plan.
The announcement will see many government roles advertised with flexible locations, with regional placements encouraged to increase the proportion of senior government roles in the regions by 2023.
Creating high-paying job opportunities to stimulate regional economies is the best way to help them bounce back from the impacts of prolonged drought, fires and floods, Mr Barilaro said in a statement.
“One thing we have learned in the past year is that you don’t need to be tethered to a desk in Sydney CBD to do a variety of jobs,” Mr Barilaro said.
“It’s essential that the people who work to support this state are living and working in the communities they serve, making connections with locals, experiencing life in the regions and becoming fully immersed in the community.”
The Berejiklian government will also implement a plan to bring more teachers to the bush, it announced on Wednesday.
The new Regional Education Strategy will focus on attracting more high-quality teachers to the bush and improving school digital access and wellbeing support.
“As a regionally-based MP I know that historically schools in the bush haven’t had the same level of access to facilities and quality education as their peers in the city,” Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said in a statement.
“(But) I want every student to enjoy the same educational opportunities no matter where they live.”
A new unit within the education department will also focus on policies to improve the education in regional, rural and remote communities.