NSW Nationals MPs are backing their leader as he ramps up pressure on Essential Energy to scrap proposed job cuts.

Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders told his local paper that the only person who should be sacked is Essential Energy CEO John Cleland, while others have also publicly expressed their stern views on the matter.

Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams said Mr Cleland must remember that 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.

“Every day my office is getting phone calls and emails from both former and current employees of Essential Energy and they seriously fear for their future,” Mrs Williams said. “I have continued to push for the past six weeks to protect Essential Energy employees from forced redundancies and I will not stop until that is achieved.”

Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis wrote to Mr Cleland personally demanding he shelve plans to cut power jobs.

“I am extremely disappointed that Essential Energy is taking the easy way out to find cost savings. Rather than sack, they need to review their operations,” Mr Gulaptis wrote in his letter. “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. Essential Energy is a major employer in regional NSW and these jobs are pivotal to the sustainability of our regional communities.”

“I ask that you give serious consideration to the impacts these job cuts will have on the families affected and communities like Grafton. I would urge you to take your responsibilities as a major employer in regional NSW and look to find savings elsewhere within the organisation.”

Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis

With Essential Energy refusing to heed direction, Deputy Premier and NSW Nationals Leader John Barilaro has written to Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean, who has the ministerial authority to give a direction to the state-owned corporation to halt these job losses in regional NSW.