Queensland wants to ban tanning salon use in the state by the end of 2014. Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg cited the increased health risks to cancer as justification for the state legislation that pushes for the prohibition on solariums.
While the approval of the legislation could result in rejection of applications for new solarium enterprises, Mr Springborg is not closed to the possibility of banning the continued operation of existing tanning salons.
However, it is not just solariums that the health ministry has to run after but also nonperforming employees among its ranks. Mr Springborg has admitted that over 300 Queensland Health employees draw fulltime wages despite lack of real work to do.
Their situation was the result of corporate restructuring or end of project funding. Thus, from frontline tasks, they were moved to policy and project roles to meet strict industrial relations laws that mandated the health ministry to retain the workers who earn an average of $70,000 annually.
He estimated that the 320 supernumeraries cost the state $30 million a year. Some of these workers were originally slated to be given temporary positions but eventually were given full-time jobs.
The minister said he became aware of the 320 nonperforming staff a few weeks ago but realised how big is the cost and the problem only this week. Mr Springborg said these workers would be redeployed or declared redundant.
He said the situation is an example of archaic workplace laws still existing that needs to be revised or expunged from the books similar to his efforts to remove tanning beds from the sunshine state.
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