Canberra-based utility provider ActewAGL has today announced that as many as 83 jobs will be cut as the result of a 36 per cent cut to its operating budget.
From ActewAGL’s media release:
ActewAGL has announced how many job losses are proposed as a result of the AER’s final decision on the ACT’s electricity distribution network for the period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2019, which was released on 30 April 2015.
ActewAGL Chief Executive Officer Michael Costello said, “The AER’s decision, especially the 36% cut to our operating expenditure, will have a major impact on ActewAGL and its staff. This continues to be an extremely difficult time for our people and our organisation.
“To operate within the AER’s final decision, a total of about 83 positions will be made redundant.
“From our Networks area, about 66 positions will be made redundant. This reduction will be evenly split across field and office positions, which includes management, engineering and administration.
“From our Corporate area, about 17 positions will be made redundant, which as a percentage matches the Networks job losses.
“The AER backdated the decision to 1 July last year and failed to fund the cost of redundancies. The cost of redundancies will add further millions to the cuts already required by the nominal 36% reduction.
“The owners have accepted that they will have to absorb any additional cost coming out of their profits, which have already been reduced by about $90m over five years. They did so to ensure the network can operate safely for its employees and the public.
“There is a considerable amount of work to do to prepare the new proposed structures and this work is still continuing, but I can confirm that consultation will commence with our staff on Tuesday 19 May.
“Our customers need to understand that the AER’s decision to slash our operating expenditure will mean we can no longer operate and maintain our network to continue to deliver the most reliable electricity supply in Australia. Customers can expect more blackouts that last longer plus slower response times but we won’t compromise safety for our staff or the community.
“All this for the sake of a saving of $1 a week for a typical Canberra household.
“We will also challenge the AER’s final decision at the Australian Competition Tribunal and the Federal Court.
“After careful consideration, we have made a decision to continue the apprenticeship program most likely in 2017 but definitely in 2018. ActewAGL has a long history of employing apprentices and it’s pleasing that we will be able to continue to train apprentices in the future.”