Adelaide Zoo Planning Job Cuts
by Merv Stevens | on
Financially-strapped Adelaide Zoo will cut jobs as part of efforts to improve its performance.
The zoo’s five-year business plan, obtained by the ABC, allows for fewer staff, sale of land and a review of Warrawong Sanctuary in the Adelaide hills.
Full-time equivalent jobs would be reduced from 202 to 184 this year, in a move expected to save $1 million and further cuts in the future are tipped to save another $125,000.
Zoos SA president Kevin McGuinness said it was a carefully considered plan.
“We’re certainly not planning any wholesale redundancies or retrenchments,” he said.
“It’s more about carefully planned and sort of balanced approach to a reduction in full-time equivalents.”
A working group will be set up to identify inefficiencies, reduce utility costs and explore investment opportunities.
Land will be sold at Monarto near Murray Bridge to reduce debt, Warrawong Sanctuary will face a review and the zoo’s conservation programs will be scrutinised.
Those found not to be “core” activities face the axe.
The numbers of animals being kept will be assessed to ensure the zoo does not hold redundant or unjustified stock.
Mr McGuinness said the zoo needed to look to the future.
“It’s not about flagging a reduction, it’s about a strategic review to ensure we have a collection that’s relevant for the next five to 10 years,” he said.
Adelaide Zoo received a rescue package last year after struggling with day-to-day expenses and repayments on its $25 million debt.
The lifeline included an easing of its loan by Westpac to $7.5 million and an increase in its annual government grant.
SA Treasurer Jack Snelling says the zoo will have to provide monthly financial reports, but no Government observer will be appointed to its board.
“The Government reserves the right that in some time in the future, should we decide that there is some value from having an observer on the board, then we have the power to do that,” he said.
The business plan considers zoo admission fees but concludes there is limited scope to increase the prices of any zoo products due to general economic conditions.
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