Essential Energy job cuts to affect Queanbeyan

Essential Energy has begun to cut jobs in the region.
Essential Energy has begun to cut jobs in the region.

Eleven roles across Queanbeyan, Goulburn, Broken Hill and Port Macquarie have been dissolved as part of Essential Energy’s plans to restructure its Revenue Services Branch.

A spokesperson for Essential Energy said changes in the employment sector had occurred to “align the workforce to current business needs.”

“These plans reflect Essential Energy’s continuing path to improve safety, operate at best practice, minimise network charges to customers and deliver a satisfactory return to shareholders,” the spokesperson said.

“The plan is to retain business-critical office positions and offer potentially affected employees … opportunities to relocate to another location within our distribution area.”

At the end of last year, a Fair Work Commission hearing gave Essential Energy the power to cut 1600 jobs.

“The reality is, is that this cut will hit all the regional areas,” an Electrical Trades Union (ETU) spokesperson said.

“Essential Energy deals with around 90 per cent of the electrical power line works in the regional NSW. They deal with high voltage construction works.

“These are highly skilled workers. These areas will feel the impact of the job losses. It will have a flow on economic effect.”

The ETU spokesperson said 1400 employees between 2011 and 2016 had taken a voluntary redundancy.

“We don’t know what will happen next,” the ETU spokesperson said. “By 2019 we could see half a workforce.”

Essential Energy plans to consult with employees affected by the company’s restructure. The consultation period will commence on March 1 and outcomes will be communicated after completion.

A reorganisation of staff comes at the tail end of the Australian Energy Regulator’s (AER) decision to reduce expenditure over three major energy organisations toward the end of 2015.