Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson says the NSW Fisheries relocation will happen regardless of an Upper House Inquiry into the closure of the Cronulla Research Centre.
Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson says the NSW Fisheries relocation will happen regardless of an Upper House Inquiry into the closure of the Cronulla Research Centre. Rob Wright

'Fisheries staff will relocate'

NSW Fisheries staff will be relocated from the Cronulla Fisheries Research Centre to regional centres such as Coffs Harbour.

That's the unwaivering position of Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson, who says the move will happen regardless of the findings of an inquiry investigating the decision.    

A defiant Ms Hodgkinson declared "these relocations will be going ahead" at a parliamentary committee in Sydney, shocking Cronulla Fisheries staff seated in the public gallery.

The relocation is part of the State Government's commitment to decentralise services to regional NSW, but has caused anger among more than 100 Cronulla staff opposed to moving to Port Stephens, Nowra and Coffs Harbour.

An upper house inquiry has been set up to investigate the controversial decision, however Ms Hodgkinson says its recommendations will be ignored.

"The decision of the government and the decentralisation will be proceeding regardless of the recommendations made by this committee," Ms Hodgkinson told the parliamentary inquiry. 

"This decision is a very good one. It is in the best interests of NSW. It complies entirely with government policy and election commitments that were made in the lead up to the election.

"It is expected of us to do things for regional NSW, and not just cop out because of various opposition from various quarters."

She said decentralisation would save $4.4 million over 20 years.