REGIONAL jobs are still on the chopping block with Deputy Premier John Barilaro unable to put a stop to Essential Energy cuts.
The electricity company will slash 182 jobs, three of those in Tamworth and another two in Gunnedah, revealed by internal documents obtained by the Electrical Trades Union [ETU].
After weeks of discussions with Essential Energy to stop the proposed cuts, Mr Barilaro announced on Thursday he had not been given a guarantee.
"The NSW Government announced there would be no public sector regional job losses and as a government body, Essential Energy is expected to follow suit," he said.
Mr Barilaro has asked the Minister for Energy and Environment to use his ministerial authority to halt the cuts.
The ETU is disappointed by the news, arguing it expected firmer action from The Nationals.
The party had failed to live up to its commitment to save regional jobs, ETU secretary Justin Page said.
"We expected the Nationals to be able to deliver on saving Essential Energy jobs," he said.
"This lack of progress raises questions about the authority of the Nationals in this government.
"We are talking about communities doing it tough in the drought and job losses in our regions are just devastating."
Both the ETU and Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall have called for Essential Energy chief executive John Cleland to reverse the cuts and resign.
Mr Cleland has failed to abide by government policy, Mr Marshall said.
"He won't even keep meetings nor return phone calls of local MPs, so he should no longer keep his job," he said.
"His arrogance and contempt for country people, his customers, is astounding as it is unacceptable and he should do the honourable thing now and step aside."