Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle.
Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle. Alistair Brightman

Union warns Qld energy reform could mean regional job cuts

THE promise of reforms for Queensland's energy sector has prompted the Electrical Trades Union to warn that more than 30 depots throughout regional areas could be shut down.

It follows confirmation from Energy Minister Mark McArdle's office that it would look at using "service agents" or contractors to replace smaller depots with less than 15 workers.

Mr McArdle was unavailable for comment on Tuesday as he prepared to attend a conference in Melbourne.

In a list released by the ETU, depots in Bowen, Moranbah, Sarina, Proserpine, Blackwater, Moura, Tara and Wandoan were all purportedly under threat.

ETU state secretary Peter Simpson said the government had "abandoned the bush".

"We call on all members of parliament to publicly stand up for their communities and tell the Brisbane-centric minister and premier to scrap this destructive anti-bush recommendation," he said.

Mr McArdle announced the creation of an Independent Review Panel in late May, that would recommend and oversee reforms to the energy sector "to make the system work better".

The IRP released its findings on Sunday which supported the changes to the depots.


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