EnergyAustralia, one of the country’s leading energy retailers, today announced changes to the structure of its workforce to set up the Mt Piper power station near Lithgow for its next two decades of operations.
Mark Collette, EnergyAustralia Executive – Energy, said a project to decommission the old Wallerawang power station that started in 2014 is nearing completion and this would impact a number of short-term and permanent project roles.
At the same time, an analysis of future workforce requirements at the Mt Piper plant identified the need for additional roles in asset management, maintenance, production and operating systems.
Overall, the changes will mean around 25-30 fewer positions across EnergyAustralia’s Lithgow operations at the end of the Wallerawang decommissioning. To manage the change EnergyAustralia will offer voluntary redundancy packages and possible redeployment within the business.
“The Wallerawang power station, once the biggest supplier of power in the state, is in the final stages of being decommissioned. Our people have done a great job, completing a difficult, arduous and complex task professionally, on time and – most importantly – safely. I’m very proud of them,” Mr Collette said.
“Mt Piper has a vital role to play in New South Wales, providing reliable and affordable supplies of electricity as cleaner forms of energy are integrated into the system. With decommissioning works nearing completion, we’ve done a thorough review of the workforce structure and skills we’ll need at Mt Piper over the next 20 years.
“It is always sad to farewell good people but at the same time we’re looking forward to leading the next evolution of the energy industry,” he said.
Mr Collette said that EnergyAustralia will continue to invest in Mt Piper. EnergyAustralia, along with the Springvale Mine joint venture, is improving the water quality of the Coxs River system through the commitment to develop a water treatment plant.
He said the business is also exploring opportunities for a $60 million energy recovery project that, if it proceeds, would put the Lithgow region at the heart of a new wave of industry innovation.
Union officials and site delegates were briefed on the proposed workforce changes this week in line with ongoing consultations since 2014 when the closure of Wallerawang power station was first announced. EnergyAustralia staff will continue to work across both sites until the changes take effect early in 2018.