Chris Gulaptis Member for Clarence, Nationals Party.
Chris Gulaptis Member for Clarence, Nationals Party. simonhughes

Gulaptis hits back at Labor over Essential Energy job cuts

Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis has hit back at claims from NSW Labor that the Nationals have not done enough to stop proposed Essential Energy jobs cuts in Grafton.

An Essential Energy source revealed to NSW Labor earlier this week that 11 jobs are set to go as part of the latest round of cuts for the energy service provider.

Mr Gulaptis said it was hypocritical of NSW Labor to claims the Nationals, including Acting Premier John Barilaro and the Member for Clarence, have done nothing to stop Liberal cuts to services in the region.

"I think it's a bit rich for Labor to being having a shot at myself the NSW Nationals for not acting some 19 days after Essential Energy announced proposed job cuts in regional areas," he said.

"On first hearing about the proposed cuts on July 3, I sought an immediate explanation from Essential Energy and quite frankly their response was simply not good enough.

I then spoke to the NSW Nationals Leader and Deputy Premier John Barilaro who called for an immediate halt to any decision by Essential Energy to carry out planned job cuts in the regions."

Mr Gulaptis said the Deputy Premier's office has been in an ongoing dialogue with Essential Energy and the Electrical Trades Union, and pointed to a pause in the job cuts as a positive move.

"I am pleased there is currently have an in-principal agreement in place to pause any job cuts at this time while Essential Energy reviews other cost savings measures.

"Even though Essential Energy is a corporatised entity that reports to a board, the Deputy Premier has made it abundantly clear about the need for everyone to be doing their part and rallying around regional communities battling the worst drought on record."

Mr Gulaptis said Nationals will continue to work with all stakeholders but said he remains adamant that any forced job losses in regional communities like Grafton would not be acceptable.