Public Trustee staffers allege they’re facing a blatant attempt at intimidation while Workplace Health and Safety investigates claims of unbearable workloads.
Public Trustee staffers allege they’re facing a blatant attempt at intimidation while Workplace Health and Safety investigates claims of unbearable workloads.

Public Trustee staff allege ‘attempt at intimidation’

There's been an interesting twist in the case of those 17 Public Trustee staffers who triggered a Workplace Health and Safety probe now under way.

City Beat spies tell us that senior PT operatives retained law firm Clayton Utz to orchestrate meetings with the complainants supposedly in an effort to get a better idea about the nature of the workplace problems.

Aggrieved employees, though, alleged the action amounted to a blatant attempt at intimidation while WHS was in the midst of examining allegations that include unbearable workloads, staffing shortages and poor training.

The Together Union took the matter to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission and it was resolved after an agreement was reached to notify the complainants that participation in any meeting would be entirely voluntary.

No surprise that quite a few of the troops have given the meetings a miss.

DINOSAUR DIG

One of Australia's richest areas filled with dinosaur bones will spring to life again next week for the first time since the pandemic shutdown.

A group of six amateur archaeologists and their support staff are set to converge on a remote part of far western Queensland to search for more evidence of the ancient beasts.

Over a two-week period starting Friday, they'll be working on an as-yet unexplored area of a 112,000 ha cattle and merino sheep station outside Eromanga, which has been owned and operated by Robyn Mackenzie's family since 1937.

Adding to the allure is the fact that the biggest dinosaur ever discovered in this country was found on the same property in 2006 by Mackenzie and her hubby when they were out mustering on motorbikes one day.

Robyn Mackenzie holds on to a titanasaur toe bone over 90 million years old
Robyn Mackenzie holds on to a titanasaur toe bone over 90 million years old

It was a 67 tonne plant-eating behemoth, nicknamed "Cooper", which grew up to 30m long and 6.5m high.

The bones, estimated to be between 95 million and 98 million years old, are now on display in the town's natural history museum, which just threw open the doors to a new $6.6m wing in March and is planning further upgrades.

The amazing find came just two years after Mackenzie's then-14-year-old son, Sandy, spotted what he thought was an unusual rock and tossed it in the back of his ute while out mustering.

It was only after the Queensland Museum confirmed the weathered piece of fist-sized bone was from a sauropod-type dinosaur that the family realised the potential of what lay beneath the ground.

Since then they have also come across other stunning fossils, including those from megafauna such as wombat-like creatures the size of hippos, as well as previously unknown insects.

Mackenzie, who studied field palaeontology and now runs the annual digs, told us she's still enthralled with the subject after all these years. "Everything about the dinosaurs is just so exciting!'' she gushed.

No doubt bolstering her enthusiasm is a fill-up announced this month by the state government.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk committed nearly $500,000 over the next three years to deliver a "roadmap'' to help bolster Queensland's dinosaur-related tourist sector as part of a plan for regional economic recovery.

"We'll work with the tourism industry to develop a strategy to promote the outback as the world's leading destination for dinosaur tourism,'' she vowed.

Originally published as Public Trustee staff allege 'blatant attempt at intimidation'