Stink erupts over garbage collection

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Monday night’s extraordinary Penrith City Council meeting was all about garbage politics as Labor and Liberal Councillors were divided over garbage truck drivers’ pay and working conditions.

The meeting was triggered after Liberal Councillors gave notice to rescind a resolution regarding tenders to the Waste Collection Service that was previously passed on February 26.

Two Transport Workers Union members spoke about their fears of job security and possible loss of income if the conditions of the waste tender were changed.

Simon Lofty, who has worked in Penrith garbage collection for nine years, claimed workers could take home up to $300 less a week if any changes were made.

“We could lose mortgages or the ability to pay rent,” he said.

But Councillor Mark Davies said there was a “scare campaign” in place, and the workers would not be subject to different conditions.

“I’d like to apologise to you that you’ve been misled,” Cr Davies told the men.

Changes to the current tender were then discussed in confidence.

Independent Councillor Kevin Crameri voted alongside Labor ensuring the Motion to Rescind a Resolution was lost, prompting applause from garbage workers in the gallery.

Councillor Ross Fowler labelled it a “terrible decision”.

“We were elected to represent the residents not the TWU and those Councillors who supported the decision should hang their heads in shame,” Cr Fowler said.

 

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