Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro and Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh are calling for a halt to any decision to cut jobs.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro and Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh are calling for a halt to any decision to cut jobs. TREVOR VEALE

JOB CUTS: Coffs Harbour MP demands immediate explanation

Nationals Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh will be seeking an "immediate explanation” in relation to proposed job cuts at Essential Energy.

There are reports that as many as 165 skilled jobs at the NSW government-owned electricity supplier will be slashed.

It's still unclear how many Coffs Harbour jobs will go. Impacted staff across the region have been advised of the plans, with the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) labelling the culling process a "hunger games" style of competition.

"Reports of planned job cuts by Essential Energy have come as a complete shock to the Coffs Harbour electorate,” Mr Singh said.

"Essential Energy is an important part of our region's workforce. Any forced job cuts are not acceptable and I will be seeking an immediate explanation on these troubling reports,” he said.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro has called for an immediate halt to any decision by Essential Energy to carry out planned job cuts in the regions.

"Even though Essential Energy is a corporatised entity that reports to a board, I have been abundantly clear about the need for everyone to be doing their part and rallying around regional communities battling the worst drought on record,” Mr Barilaro said.

"Essential Energy needs to be transparent about any planned decision around their regional workforce.

"I have summoned the CEO of Essential Energy to a meeting to explain this decision.”

Mr Barilaro says he also expects Essential Energy to provide a briefing to all affected regional MPs about any forced job cuts.

The Labor Opposition has accused the Liberal/National State Government of being "addicted to privatisation”.

"The government need to reassure the community that it's not cutting costs simply to sell Essential in a fire sale to their mates,” Deputy NSW Labor Leader and Shadow Minister for Rural and Regional Jobs Yasmin Catley said.



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