Statement from John Barilaro, Deputy Premier of NSW, Leader of the NSW Nationals, Minister for Regional NSW, Industry and Trade:

After weeks of calling on Essential Energy to pull back on proposed job cuts in regional NSW, I am yet to receive a guarantee from the organisation that they will reverse this decision.

The NSW Government announced there would be no public sector regional job losses and as a government body, Essential Energy is expected to follow suit.

Regional NSW is the backbone of this state and as we continue to suffer through the worst drought on record, job losses are the last thing our communities need.

I have met with Essential Energy and made every effort to discuss this issue with them, however, this state-owned corporation refuses to comply with government policy.

I have written to the Minister for Energy and Environment, who has the ministerial authority to give a direction to the state-owned corporation to halt these job losses in regional NSW.

I have requested the Minister and the Minister’s agency to direct Essential Energy to not proceed with proposed job cuts and to work with the Electrical Trades Union to find alternative efficiencies and opportunities within the organisation.