Media Release

18 October 2019

The Berejikllian-Barilaro Government has been condemned by a majority of the Upper House in the NSW Parliament for its failure to guarantee Essential Energy jobs.

Incredibly, it has emerged that Liberal Environment Minister Matt Kean has not issued a formal legal direction to ensure the jobs of 182 workers are protected despite promising he would do so.

This leaves the financial security of workers and their families in limbo.

In yet another embarrassing loss for the Government late yesterday, Labor’s motion condemning the Berejiklian Government’s inaction on Essential Energy jobs passed the Legislative Council 23 votes to 16.

“NSW Labor is calling on the Berejiklian Government to abandon all the proposed Essential Energy jobs cuts to ensure its workers have job security. This is particularly vital given the additional pressure being placed on rural and regional communities by the drought” — Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, Adam Searle MLC

“Matt Kean is essentially toying with Essential Energy workers and it is incredibly arrogant,” Mr Searle said.

“There is a current draft direction from the Government that only delays job cuts for 12 months,” he said. “This does not protect the further 400 jobs that Essential Energy is looking to cut by 2024. Removing Essential Energy jobs will devastate workers and families on the North Coast and right across regional NSW.”

Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Rural and Regional Jobs Yasmin Catley added: “The Berejiklian Government made a promise that it would protect every single regional job and it must stick to it.”

Opposition Whip in the Legislative Council Mark Buttigieg said: “The Liberals’ and Nationals’ negligent treatment of regional workers cannot continue,” he said. “Essential Energy workers deserve job security not having their livelihoods put on the chopping block.”