The approved staffing level for the 199293 financial year was seventy-one. Staff numbers have declined significantly in recent years as a consequence of departmental reorganisations and transfers of responsibilities following the granting of self-government to the Australian Capital Territory. Government policiesin particular the application of the annual `efficiency dividend'have also had an impact, resulting in a 6.25 per cent reduction in staff numbers in the past five years. These reductions have coincided with significant increases in visitor numbers and the assumption of new responsibilities in the field of plant biodiversity conservation.
It must be recognised that the horticultural management of the Gardens is a very labour intensive activity and is likely to remain so. Although efficiency increases in some areas have lessened the impact of staff cuts, activity in other areas has had to be curtailed and some inefficiencies have resulted.
Various measures have been employed to reduce the impact of staff reductions on the functions of the Gardens. In particular, the use of volunteers has enabled levels of activity to be maintained in some areas and enabled new activities such as guided tours to commence.
________________________________________________________________________ Living Visitor Botany Collections Services Staffing levels Section Section Section Total ________________________________________________________________________ Approved staffing levels, 15.1 44.5 11.5 71.1 December 1992 Staffing required to carry 22.0 53.0 15.5 90.5 out existing programs at appropriate levels of activity Staffing required to fully 27.0 61.0 18.0 106.0 implement this Plan ________________________________________________________________________Every effort will be made to secure funding and approval for the staffing required to fully implement the Plan, and staff resources will be allocated to best meet the priorities identified in Chapter 8. Should staffing levels fall significantly below requirements during the life of this Plan it may be necessary to review management arrangements, including visitor access to parts of the Gardens, in order to ensure the safety and security of visitors and to ensure that Gardens resources are not compromised.
Temporary staff will continue to be employed during summer to assist in dealing with the peak workload, extended opening hours and high visitor numbers. Consultants and specialist staff on contract will also be engaged as required.
Existing programs involving volunteers will be continued and policies will be developed, in consultation with staff and their unions, to maximise the contribution of volunteers to the activities of the Gardens.