Essential Energy job cuts: Orange, Molong and Parkes among the depots impacted

JOB CUTS: Essential Energy plans to cut 165 jobs from across regional NSW, but it will not confirm where the losses will be. Photo: FILE
JOB CUTS: Essential Energy plans to cut 165 jobs from across regional NSW, but it will not confirm where the losses will be. Photo: FILE

ESSENTIAL Energy's latest round of job cuts will see 182 staff made redundant by September 30, including four confirmed losses in the Central West.

Essential Energy has announced plans to cut jobs from their regional NSW workforce to "drive efficiencies in our business" and "deliver a better service at lower cost".

The energy retailer declined to answer requests for information by Australian Community Media about which jobs would be cut and from what locations.

Orange MP Philip Donato, however, was provided a statement from Essential Energy on Tuesday about the widespread job losses.

"Essential Energy is forecasting a reduction in its workforce of approximately 182 positions over the next three months, resulting in an overall workforce size shift from 3095 to 2913," the statement said.

"There are an estimated 71 field and 111 non-field positions impacted."

Essential Energy is forecasting a reduction in its workforce of approximately 182 positions over the next three months.

Statement from Essential Energy

Mr Donato said he understood that there will be four job losses from his region, including in Parkes (two), Orange (one) and Molong (one).

However, the future of other staff across the region remains unclear.

The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) said Essential Energy had privately told workers that the Bathurst, Port Macquarie, Grafton, Taree and Lismore regions would be particularly hard hit.

An ETU spokesman said every one of the 100 regional depots risked staff losses and that bigger sites would most likely receive more cuts.

The first round of forced redundancies would occur as early as July 10.

The union claims the latest job cuts include forced redundancies and "Hunger Games" style competition between workers to hold onto their jobs.

"It's a merit selection process where they'll be rated by managers to determine who will keep their job," an ETU spokesman said.

"They'll all be dragged in an have to interview to keep their position.

"It just causes a lot of anxiety and stress."

The ETU spokesman said many workers had very specialised skills and if they lose their job "they'll have to leave town".

Since 2015, the ETU claims Essential Energy has cut 2000 positions from its workforce which has drastically reduced the skilled front-line workers available to respond to blackouts, storm damage, or other major incidents.

Orange MP Philip Donato said the decision to cut so many jobs would "almost certainly result in decreased and delayed service for our country communities".

It's a merit selection process where they'll be rated by managers to determine who will keep their job.

Electrical Trades Union spokesman

"Essential Energy are reported to have cited the reason for these job cuts as a business need due to Australian Energy Regulator funding," he said.

The NSW Labor Opposition has called on Deputy Premier John Barilaro to intervene and save the jobs

Deputy NSW Labor leader Yasmin Catley said Mr Barilaro should intervene if he was serious about standing up for the regions.

"It's disappointing seeing more jobs lost in the regions ... this is another kick in the guts for regional workers," she said.

"This government is addicted to privatisation and the government need to reassure the community that it's not cutting costs simply to sell Essential in a fire sale to their mates."

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