Power out­age

Time to say ‘we’re sick of be­ing treated as sec­ond class cit­i­zens’

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Sue Har­ris sue.har­ris@cnbtimes.com.au

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.

PHOTO: JOHN BURNS

IM­ME­DI­ATE HELP: Er­gon work­ers were im­me­di­ately on the job dur­ing the Jan­uary flood to carry out re­pairs in of­ten danger­ous con­di­tions and restore power.

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