Ergon proposals may cost 12 Fraser Coast jobs

ABOUT 12 Ergon staff members on the Fraser Coast could be made redundant under a proposal to centralise Ergon energy's dispatching functions to Rockhampton and to use contractors for some customer service work.

An Ergon Energy spokesman said seven staff members and three labour hire employees in Hervey Bay could potentially be made redundant towards the end of the year under the dispatch proposal.

If it goes ahead, it would see jobs across the state moved to a single dispatch centre in Rockhampton.

"Staff directly affected by these proposals have been told this week, however the proposals are subject to consultation with staff and unions," the spokesman said.

He said staff members would be eligible for relocation assistance if they chose to relocate to Rockhampton for one of the new positions.

"Staff members are covered by the no forced redundancy provisions of their enterprise agreement," he said.

"If this goes ahead, they can choose to accept a redundancy or seek redeployment within the business."

An additional job in Hervey Bay and one job in Maryborough would also be made redundant under the proposal to use contractors for some customer service work.

The spokesman said contractors were already used by Ergon in the northern and central regions.

"Any redundancies would be through a voluntary expression of interest process," he said.

The Electrical Trades Union said 17 Ergon jobs in all across the Wide Bay were at risk.

ETU Electrical Supply Industry coordinator Stuart Traill said the Wide Bay and Burnett area in particular was already reeling from job cuts in other sectors.

"They are once again bashing the bush and hardworking frontline employees," Mr Traill said.

"All this while they plough full steam ahead towards asset sales."

Mr Traill also raised concerns about floods impacting Rockhampton and how that may affect dispatching of emergency response field crews during future natural disasters.

Topics:  electricity ergon

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