600 Rural Job Cuts As Essential Energy Sheds $46m

The current Liberal-National Party Government took electricity privatisation to the last election. Now the job cuts that were guaranteed to not happen will start after a Fair Work Commission decision yesterday.

Robert Borsak

Shooters Fishers and Farmers MLC Robert Borsak hit-back at the Liberal and National Government for failing protect 600 rural jobs created by the publicly-owned electricity distributor Essential Energy.

"Yesterday, the Fair Work Commission granted Essential Energy the permission to half of it's workforce statewide," Mr Borsak said.

"This means 600 rural job cuts across New South Wales.  They're also shedding half their workforce, and I'm concerned about the devastating impact this will have in the bush. For every 13 jobs that are cut, that's $1 million ripped out of our local economy - so that's $46 million of economic activity lost in rural communities for that first 600 job cuts."

Forced redundancies for these job cuts will start before Christmas and the Fair Work Commission's decision also removed restrictions from further cuts from 1 July 2018.

"The National Party have learned nothing from the Orange by-election.  Our newly-elected Member for Orange Philip Donato has just told me he's concerned that half of the 205 people employed by Essential Energy in his electorate will lose their jobs. The Liberal Party took this policy to the 2015 election and the Nationals just did what they were told and supported it.

"The NSW Government is the 100 per cent of Essential Energy and has the power to intervene and save these jobs. As an accountant with 40 years experience, I know these sort of cuts are not sustainable.

"John Barilaro is travelling to Orange this week as part of his listening tour. I'm joining Mr Donato to call on the Nationals to stop doing what the Liberal Party tells them to do, and stand up against these job cuts from city-centric Liberal Party policies.

"What Mr Barilaro needs to do is this: tell the community where the additional jobs for rural areas are going to come from when the impact of this is coupled with job losses from forced rural Council mergers."

Robert Borsak and Philip Donato

Essential Energy employs approximately 205 people in the Orange electorate:

  • Canowindra 10 jobs
  • Forbes 21 jobs
  • Wellington 20 jobs
  • Peak Hill 7 jobs
  • Molong 10 jobs
  • Orange 98 jobs
  • Parkes 39 jobs

Download Robert Borsak's press release.