The O’Farrell Government has refused to support protections for hundreds of rural and regional workers in the energy sector – placing a veil of uncertainty over the future of many staff across the state’s energy sector.
The Government today rejected an Opposition amendment to protect rural and regional staff of Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy and Essential Energy from being sideswiped by broader reforms across the governance of the sector.
Under changes passed through the lower house of Parliament – the State’s three electricity distributors are being slashed into one with hundreds of jobs under threat.
The NSW Opposition’s amendment would ensure that jobs in rural centres were maintained at current levels for five years after the merge.
The Treasurer has today put the rural employees of Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy and Essential Energy on notice.
By rejecting this amendment – the Treasurer has opened the door to hundreds or perhaps thousands of job losses across rural and regional NSW.
Faced with a clear choice to give certainty, these now vulnerable employees deserve to know the Government voted down an amendment to protect their employment.This uncertainty is going to loom large over the employees, their families and the communities they call home.
The Treasurer needs to guarantee that no jobs will be targeted and that no jobs will be lost on the back of these changes.