Thursday, 4 July 2019
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall has today come out swinging, calling for the CEO of Essential Energy to be stood down following the announcement nearly 200 jobs will be shed by the Government owned company in drought effected rural communities.
The company’s CEO John Cleland wrote to Mr Marshall to inform him 182 positions across the companies network would be shed by the 30th of September this year, with reports in local media today some of those will be go from depots across the New England and North West.
Outraged and disgusted Mr Marshall labelled the decision reprehensible, demanding it be put on hold.
“I’m absolutely furious this cloak and dagger decision has been made without any consultation with communities or Members of Parliament, at a time when farming areas are being financially devastated by drought,” Mr Marshall said.
“Mr Cleland is an out of touch bureaucrat who clearly has no concept we are going through the worst drought in the state’s history and these 182 people have families, they live in our communities and cannot afford any job losses because everyone is hurting.
“He also doesn’t even realise, or seem to care, Premier Gladys Berejiklian has given the firm commitment there is to be no public sector job cuts throughout country NSW.
“This decision is offensive and insensitive to people in communities that are already copping a flogging due to the downturn caused by the drought and in my view there should only be one job lost at Essential Energy and that should be the CEO himself – Mr Cleland has to go,” he said.
Mr Marshall said he is seeking advice as to whether the job cuts can be stopped or put on hold.
“I was one of the MPs who stuck my neck out to keep Essential Energy in public hands, so decision like this couldn’t be made,” Mr Marshall said.
“Essential Energy only has one share holder which is the NSW Government and I am looking into what powers it has to direct the company board not to continue with this decision immediately.
“We need people in the agency so that we can quickly respond when the lights go out in storms or we can conduct proper maintenance work on the lines to ensure the network is the very best.
“There is a time and place to have this discussion and it’s not now – it’s not in the middle of the worst drought we have ever experienced.”
MEDIA: Kris Wall 0447 432 392