Sunday 21 April 2024

Contact 1800 772 679

Contact 1800 772 679

The magazine of the Public Service Association of NSW and the Community and Public Sector Union (NSW Branch)

PSA Members Cleaning Up The State

PSA Members Cleaning Up The State

Meet one of the Champions of the State taking on environmental crises in NSW.

Asbestos is just one hazardous material popping up all over Sydney. And it is PSA members in the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) testing sites and remediating any that are found polluted by dangerous substances.

One such member is Jane Burgett, the Unit Head of the EPA’s Incident Management Unit. She works on projects cleaning up various dangerous materials.

“Incident response was always my favourite part of being an operations officer at the EPA for the first 25 years or so of my working life ,so to become the Unit Head of a team like this is a dream role for me,” she said. “I have a wonderful team of highly skilled and motivated public servants who are dedicated to the work we do.

“We maintain and manage the EPA’s incident management system, we coordinate and provide training in incident response, foster relationships with combat agencies and other government agencies to make responses seamless, and we provide the EPA’s 24/7 Duty Incident Advice Coordinator service.”

The recent asbestos scare has shown the state how important workers such as Ms Burgett are to NSW.

“I have always had a great deal of respect for our system of government and especially the role of regulators,” she said. “I believe that the laws and regulations made by democratically elected lawmakers are the stitches that hold the fabric of a civilised society together.

“Strong regulatory agencies like the EPA ensure the standards that make our way of life so enjoyable are enforced and normalised. The NSW EPA provides a voice for the environment which cannot speak for itself and gives the public confidence that the environment will be protected from polluters and given the consideration it deserves in government decision-making.”

Ms Burgett first joined the EPA in September 1996 after five years with the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service.

“I did a few years with the Sydney Catchment Authority but came back to the EPA in 2015,” she said. “My official start date with the Public Sector, including my time in Queensland, is February 1991. So this year is 33 years of public service.”

Ms Burgett thinks roles such as hers require “someone willing to help others in a crisis, consider all of the options available and be able to think under pressure to achieve the best outcomes.”

She is also a firm believer in the power of a union.

“I come from a long line of union blood,” she said. “It’s in my DNA.

“The union works hard to ensure Public Sector employees enjoy the best employment conditions. Being part of the union acknowledges those who have gone before us and fought for conditions we wouldn’t have today.

“The union continues to represent Public Sector employees to maintain our employment conditions and ensure they keep up with contemporary industrial issues.”

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