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ActewAGL jobs to be slashed after budget cuts

By Canfan - 8 May 2015 7

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.”

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7 Responses to
ActewAGL jobs to be slashed after budget cuts
HiddenDragon 6:05 pm 11 May 15

Reprobate said :

Hmmm… looking at published after-tax profits over the past 4 years, ActewAGL’s future profits may merely reduce from “comfortable” to “modest”:
10-11 $166.6 million profit
11-12 $162.6 million profit
12-13 $194.4 million profit
13-14 $166.0 million profit

Interesting figures, so the question might then be how much of the reduced (in future) profit they are allowed to retain for reinvestment in the infrastructure which the great majority of us rely on 24/7.

And, of course, it is worth remembering that the network carries power from the ACT Government’s renewables sources, not just from fossil fuels.

Reprobate 12:59 pm 11 May 15

Hmmm… looking at published after-tax profits over the past 4 years, ActewAGL’s future profits may merely reduce from “comfortable” to “modest”:
10-11 $166.6 million profit
11-12 $162.6 million profit
12-13 $194.4 million profit
13-14 $166.0 million profit

Maya123 5:54 am 10 May 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

From the AER website regarding these cuts – “The demand for electricity has fallen and is expected to remain reasonably flat over the 2015 to 2019 regulatory control period. This puts less strain on the network and requires less investment to provide a reliable supply of energy.”
See what all that energy efficiency fuss and those solar panels are doing? They have effectively robbed ActewAGL of profits and now it has become necessary to sack people. I hope you are all pleased with yourselves as you look at your cheaper electricity bill. Please spare a thought for all those families whose main income earner has now joined the dole queue. I bet they wished we’d used a little more power. I for one don’t feel any guilt at not being able to afford to put huge PV Cells on my rooftop.

Unfortunately the same cost cutting is being applied to N.S.W networks with Transgrid, Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy in their sights to be sold off. Looks like there will be nowhere for all those field staff to go except Centerlink, how depressing. I know from personal experience that transferring your electrical skills to another industry is extremely difficult, especially in the current job market, so I really do feel bad for any of the linesmen, service technicians and the like who will be job hunting soon. Good luck to them all.

I have done my best to reduce my electricity bills and am very proud of this. I can’t advocate the continued burning of coal if that is what will keep people in work. It’s great the electricity demand has reduced. True, it’s sad people have lost their jobs. It’s a difficult situation.
I was laid off at aged 51 by the way, so I do understand about being in this situation. Try getting another job at that age.

rubaiyat 12:15 pm 09 May 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

From the AER website regarding these cuts – “The demand for electricity has fallen and is expected to remain reasonably flat over the 2015 to 2019 regulatory control period. This puts less strain on the network and requires less investment to provide a reliable supply of energy.”
See what all that energy efficiency fuss and those solar panels are doing? They have effectively robbed ActewAGL of profits and now it has become necessary to sack people. I hope you are all pleased with yourselves as you look at your cheaper electricity bill. Please spare a thought for all those families whose main income earner has now joined the dole queue. I bet they wished we’d used a little more power. I for one don’t feel any guilt at not being able to afford to put huge PV Cells on my rooftop.

Unfortunately the same cost cutting is being applied to N.S.W networks with Transgrid, Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy in their sights to be sold off. Looks like there will be nowhere for all those field staff to go except Centerlink, how depressing. I know from personal experience that transferring your electrical skills to another industry is extremely difficult, especially in the current job market, so I really do feel bad for any of the linesmen, service technicians and the like who will be job hunting soon. Good luck to them all.

Spare a thought for all the workers in all the fossil fuel power stations everywhere in Australia whose jobs are under threat despite the efforts of the Abbott Government.

Why aren’t the Liberal Government ministers all out taking full credit for the increasing unemployment? Credit where credit is due.

Although what happened to my energy bills going down to pre Carbon Tax levels and return to full employment?

Joe Hockey is the exception, taking full credit for Interest Rates being forced to their lowest level yet, because the economy is in such a poor state. Such good news for all those who frugally saved money who now get a massive pay cut, and such bad news for all those private individuals negatively gearing, and the corporations whose massive borrowings gave us the GFC.

It is big head scratcher that “Joe the Treasurer” can’t make up his mind whether interest rate cuts are good or bad. If I understand the fundamental economic principal , it is appallingly bad when under Labor, but a brilliant achievement when under his nervous hand on the tiller.

dungfungus 8:17 am 09 May 15

Are the “community and sporting sponsorships” still in place?
Usually, in times of cost cutting they are the first things to go.

wildturkeycanoe 7:00 am 09 May 15

From the AER website regarding these cuts – “The demand for electricity has fallen and is expected to remain reasonably flat over the 2015 to 2019 regulatory control period. This puts less strain on the network and requires less investment to provide a reliable supply of energy.”
See what all that energy efficiency fuss and those solar panels are doing? They have effectively robbed ActewAGL of profits and now it has become necessary to sack people. I hope you are all pleased with yourselves as you look at your cheaper electricity bill. Please spare a thought for all those families whose main income earner has now joined the dole queue. I bet they wished we’d used a little more power. I for one don’t feel any guilt at not being able to afford to put huge PV Cells on my rooftop.

Unfortunately the same cost cutting is being applied to N.S.W networks with Transgrid, Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy in their sights to be sold off. Looks like there will be nowhere for all those field staff to go except Centerlink, how depressing. I know from personal experience that transferring your electrical skills to another industry is extremely difficult, especially in the current job market, so I really do feel bad for any of the linesmen, service technicians and the like who will be job hunting soon. Good luck to them all.

HiddenDragon 6:07 pm 08 May 15

Sounds like we’re about to learn whether there has been “gold-plating” of the electricity network, or whether most of what has been spent has simply been catching up with under-investment from earlier years and lifting standards to a level which the great majority of users expect and take for granted.

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