REDUCED TO ASHES: The remains of a power pole after the Rappville bushfires.
REDUCED TO ASHES: The remains of a power pole after the Rappville bushfires.

Rappville response highlights importance of energy jobs

IN THE days following the Rappville bushfires, Essential Energy workers from across the state were deployed the fire-ravaged area on a mission to restore the power.

The Rappville fire burnt more than 40,000 hectares, with more than 350 power poles and associated equipment needing to be replaced or repaired.

Less than a week after the fire danger decreased, Essential Energy crews had repaired more than 300 of the damaged poles, bringing power back to affected residents.

 

Energy infrastructure was extensively damaged in the Rappville bushfire.
Energy infrastructure was extensively damaged in the Rappville bushfire. Contributed

With job losses touted to Essential Energy employees across NSW earlier this year, the rapid response and restoration of power would not have been possible if the planned 182 jobs had been cut, according to an Electrical Trades Union delegate.

"Workers would not have been able to get the power back on so quickly if they were subject to those planned job cuts," the ETU delegate said.

"It just wouldn't have been possible to do, with job cuts it would substantially reduce our ability to respond to disasters like this."

The delegate said no further assurances had been given on local jobs, with cuts put on hold due to the ongoing drought crisis.



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