Govt documents reveal job cuts

LEAKED documents have revealed the NSW government plans to slash up to 7800 jobs from the state’s three electricity distribution businesses, according to the Electrical Trades Union.

The documents obtained by the union are from an executive meeting of Networks NSW, which was set up late last year to run Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy and Essential Energy.

They outline plans to slash 60 per cent of the workforce, through an extensive program of redundancies, forced sackings and hiring freezes. 

The documents also show the job losses are set to be completed nine months prior to the next election, allowing some buffer room to avoid voter backlash.

The concern is that, with so many job cuts, the services would be affected, emergency responses would be slower in cases of fire or floods, and maintenance and reliability would suffer.

Networks NSW last week hit back at the unions, claiming the documents, which included some graphs, were not to scale.

An Electrical Trades Union NSW spokesman said, if that was the case, some questions needed to be asked.

“If the graph is not to scale, why include a graph at all?” the spokesman said.

“Why not say on the graph that it is not to scale?

“And why apportion different values to each redundancy program?”

The state government merged the three electricity networks last year, in an attempt to bring future power bill prices closer to inflation while delivering more than $400 million in savings over the next four years. 

At the same time, the government announced 780 jobs would be cut as part of delivering the savings.

But the union says these documents prove the number is higher and that this approach was always the plan.

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