A MIX of anger and sadness has met the news this week that SunRice will be cutting a further 32 full-time jobs from its Leeton and Deniliquin milling operations.
The company made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon, taking the total number of employees affected by recent reconfigurations to approximately 130 full-time employees since the first cut backs in November last year.
The company is blaming its low crop this year of 54,000 tonnes, which was the second lowest on record.
The job losses will take effect from November 15 and also impact Australian Grain Storage sites across the Riverina.
It's the government that has killed these jobs, it's not the drought.Member for Murray Helen Dalton
The full-time positions will go from milling, packing, maintenance, paddy and warehousing operations.
"Unfortunately the drought, low general security water allocations and high temporary water prices continue to negatively impact annual irrigated industries, including the rice industry, in the Riverina region of NSW," SunRice chief executive officer Rob Gordon said.
"While (the) changes relate to the milling of the low C19 crop, harvested earlier in 2019, we remain concerned about the ongoing impact of the low water availability and high prices ahead of planting of the C20 crop later this year.
"Despite that, SunRice has been pleased with the response from rice growers to our record contracts offered in August 2019."
The job cuts have angered Member for Murray Helen Dalton, who pointed the finger squarely at the government.
She said its mismanagement of water continued to strangle rural communities and livelihoods.
"It's the government that has killed these jobs, it's not the drought," Mrs Dalton said.
"The rivers are running a banker. All up it's 130 jobs lost in Leeton and Deniliquin.
"If you extrapolate that out, that's about 33.000 jobs lost in Sydney if you work the ratio of populations.
"That's just massive. It (job cuts) rips the heart and soul out of communities. It's death by a thousand cuts."
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