According to the Electrical Trade Union (ETU), Networks NSW head Vince Graham said that management was looking to shed up to 4,300 jobs across its operations. The job losses include 2,500 at Ausgrid and 700 at Endeavour. Graham also confirmed that 700 apprentices currently employed by the distribution companies would not be retained at end of their training.
Graham claimed that the jobs cuts were made necessary by draft decisions handed down by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) in November last year. Established in 2005, the AER regulates energy markets and networks and sets prices, mainly in NSW, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.
The AER decision—determining what the NSW’s distribution network companies can charge customers to recoup network upgrade and maintenance costs—proposes retrospectively to reduce their revenue allowances by $6.5 billion or 27 percent over the five-year period to 2019.