ANXIOUS WAIT: Local workers are sweating over whether the State Government will close the Stanthorpe Ergon Energy depot.
ANXIOUS WAIT: Local workers are sweating over whether the State Government will close the Stanthorpe Ergon Energy depot. Ella Archibald-Binge

Ergon depot ‘safe’

WHILE the State Government has reassured Stanthorpe Ergon Energy employees no depot closures are on the cards, the Electrical Trades Union is warning local workers not to breathe a sigh of relief, just yet.

In the State Government's response to the Inter Departmental Committee report on electricity sector reform, Stanthorpe was earmarked as one of 45 Ergon depots to be considered for closure, prompting the ETU to circulate petitions around affected towns.

Accusing the ETU of "scaremongering" and "causing unrest", Acting Minister for Energy and Water Supply Andrew Cripps said the State Government would not close regional offices without consulting Ergon employees.

"Clearly there are three criteria that would need to be satisfied before any decision could be made, including improved services to customers and broad support amongst staff," Mr Cripps said.

However, ETU electricity supply industry organiser Stuart Traill was sceptical about the State Government's promise of consultation, and said anyone would be hard-pressed to find a regional community that supported depot closures.

"We've got no great confidence in this government that it will carry out proper consultations," he said.

"The reality is that there is no support for depot closures or for the contracting out of work."

Mr Traill said regional workers would not be satisfied until the state said the magic words.

"Unless there's a cast-iron guarantee that no depots will be closed, these towns have every right to be concerned," Mr Traill said.

To join the ETU's campaign, visit not4sale.org.au.

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