Kyogle Council has called on the State Government to intervene to stop Essential Energy from slashing 182 jobs from its regional workforce, including three positions at Kyogle and another 18 across the Northern Rivers.
Mayor Cr Danielle Mulholland described the proposed job cuts as an attack on rural and regional communities and said she was sick of rural communities being treated like second class citizens.
“This isn’t just about loss of jobs in an area and an economy where we need every dollar we can get – this is about quality service delivery to rural areas,” she said.
“Our local government area is more than 3,500 square kilometres in size.
“If 21 jobs are cut across the Northern Rivers what will happen when a storm takes out the power supply to large parts of the region?
“How long will people living in areas such as Bonalbo, Woodenbong and Mallanganee have to wait to have their electricity restored?
“Will these areas be treated the same as the more densely populated centres?
“It’s time that agencies such as Essential Energy start valuing our rural communities.”
Cr Mulholland said Council applauded the comments from the Deputy Premier who called for an immediate stop to any decision by Essential Energy to carry out planned job cuts in the regions.
“We hope the State Government will be successful in preserving this component of our regional workforce and addressing residents’ concerns about ongoing service delivery, rural traineeships and job security,” she said.