Time to say ‘we’re sick of being treated as second class citizens’
ERGON depots in the North Burnett could face closure.
An Independent Review Panel report released last week states up to 30 depots, those with eight to 15 staff employees, could close, and that includes Monto, Mundubbera, Gayndah and Biggenden in the North Burnett and neighbouring depots in Biloela, Childers, Gin Gin and Murgon.
Minister for Energy Mark McArdle said there was no proposal for large scale closures of Ergon depot but the recommendation of the panel, he said, stated consideration should be given to the adoption of a local service agent model for depots in the range of eight to 15 employees.
ETU State Secretary Peter Simpson said the union was fearful for around 30 depots in regional and remote areas of Queensland.
He said it was not good enough for “so-called country MPs” to sit on their hands and let this happen.
Deputy Mayor Faye Whelan said she was concerned about the adverse impact the closures of a depot would have in the North Burnett.
“I am told people may be left without power for up to four days waiting for outreach service,“she said.
“This would cripple struggling rural industries...”
“It’s time people in the bush said, ‘we are sick of being treated as second class citizens’.”
Mayor DonWaugh said he had spoken to Minister McArdle and it is believed a State Government Cabinet meeting next month on July 8 will discuss the matter further.
IMMEDIATE HELP: Ergon workers were immediately on the job during the January flood to carry out repairs in often dangerous conditions and restore power.