18 February 2018
The NSW Labor Opposition is demanding Energy Minister Don Harwin and Dubbo MP Troy Grant rule out the closure of an Essential Energy Warehouse in Dubbo.
The warehouse in Dubbo is one of three across regional NSW that provide materials for repairs to Essential Energy infrastructure across the state.
The Essential Energy warehouse is situated at 23 Hawthorn Street Dubbo.
The six staff employed in the warehouse have reportedly been told that the warehouse will be closed in four weeks time. All staff have been advised their jobs will be lost.
The warehouse workers play a vital role in ensuring that the materials needed for repairs across a large part of regional and remote NSW are dispatched to where they are needed, often urgently.
The Dubbo warehouse services towns including Narromine, Warren, Nyngan, Cobar, Wilcannia, Broken Hill, Bourke, Coonamble, Walgett, Gilgandra, Bathurst, Oberon, Blayney, Molong, Orange, Tottenham. Lake Cargelligo, Condobolin, Cowra, Canowindra, Young, West Wyalong and Forbes.
A recent example of the important work done by the warehouse workers was during the recent Dunedoo fire, when poles and wires and other hardware were transported urgently over an extended period.
It is understood that the closure of the warehouse in Dubbo will have serious adverse effects on the capacity of Essential Energy to respond to black outs and other circumstances where repairs to infrastructure are needed.
The other two such warehouses are situated in Wagga Wagga and Grafton. It is understood that if the Dubbo warehouse closes existing depots will be serviced from the Wagga Wagga and Grafton warehouses and that further depots will be closed in the immediate future.
Quotes attributable to Labor Leader in the Legislative Council and Shadow Energy Minister Adam Searle:
“Regional NSW energy customers are already worse off compared with their city counterparts.
“The Liberal-National Party has an unacceptable history of treating regional NSW residents as second-class citizens.
“Blackouts in the regions are already three times longer than in the city. Now the state government and Essential Energy apparently want to continue a slash and burn approach and close an essential warehouse in centrally located Dubbo that services repairs across a large part of the state to maintain the power”.
|Average length of power outages per customer|
|2014||183 minutes||89.1 minutes||64.3 minutes|
|2015||217 minutes||92 minutes||77.3 minutes|
|2016||227 minutes||85.4 minutes||70.8 minutes|
Quotes attributable to Stephen Lawrence, Country Labor Councillor Dubbo Regional Council:
“At the moment in Dubbo there is always an Essential Energy warehouse worker on call to jump in the truck at any time of the night or day and deliver urgently needed hardware across Dubbo and the region to restore power quickly and efficiently. It is simply unacceptable that this service would be removed and replaced by staff in far off Wagga or Grafton
“Troy Grant needs to step in immediately and ensure that this key warehouse is not closed down by Essential Energy. Not just for the six workers who stand to lose their jobs, but for the people of Dubbo and western NSW who rely on these workers to get the power back on”.