Mayor, state member raise concerns over Essential Energy job cuts

Cabonne mayor Kevin Beatty and member for Orange Philip Donato have raised concerns over Essential Energy job cuts in the region.
Cabonne mayor Kevin Beatty and member for Orange Philip Donato have raised concerns over Essential Energy job cuts in the region.

Cabonne mayor Kevin Beatty and member for Orange Phil Donato have both raised concerns over Essential Energy job cuts in the region.

An initial list of the first 122 forced redundancies has been provided to Australian Community Media by Essential Energy, with Molong toted to lose one staff member.

Bathurst will be the hardest hit in the region with eight staff to lose their jobs, although Essential Energy admits that this number has not yet been finalised.

Cr Beatty said he wants a guarantee from Essential Energy that the same level of service will be provided to the Cabonne Shire despite the cuts.

"Cabonne Council is extremely concerned about the effects these job losses may have on the Shire and we are seeking an urgent guarantee from Essential Energy that its facilities in Molong and Canowindra will remain operational," Cr Beatty said.

"Any job losses in Cabonne would have a major impact not only on the families affected, but on our community," he said.

"The personal impacts on families is likely to be devastating, but the flow-on effect may also very detrimental to the economies of Cabonne's towns and villages, particularly when we are experiencing one of the worst droughts on record."

Mr Donato said the announcement was a continuation of recent job cuts to services in rural and regional NSW.

"My office routinely receives calls from constituents concerning Essential Energy service issues, and these job cuts will only worsen delivery of this service," Mr Donato said.

"Let's not forget there are families that now face immediate insecurity and uncertainty in their futures. Essential Energy are reported to have cited the reason for these job cuts as a business need due to Australian Energy Regulator funding. At the end of the day... workers from country communities will be sacrificed so that profit margins remain high and service outlays remain low."

Cr Beatty said that if Essential Energy could not guarantee that its Molong and Canowindra facilities would remain operational, Cabonne Council would be seeking an urgent meeting with the company's manager, NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean and Deputy Premier John Barilaro.