News

ETU say Newman Government leases will hurt apprentices

SAVE OUR KIDS: ETU organiser Stuart Traill and state secretary Peter Simpson warn apprentices will suffer under the LNP’s leasing plans.
SAVE OUR KIDS: ETU organiser Stuart Traill and state secretary Peter Simpson warn apprentices will suffer under the LNP’s leasing plans. David Nielsen

IPSWICH apprentices will be the losers if the Newman Government gets its wish to lease its electricity transmission networks long term.

That is the warning from the Electrical Trades Union (ETU), which insists the government plan to offer 50 to 99-year leases of Energex, Ergon Energy and Powerlink is privatisation in all but name.

ETU supply industry organiser Stuart Traill said the planned cuts to apprenticeships announced by Energex yesterday were just the start, with Ipswich the big loser.

"Energex have today announced during EBA negotiations that they want to reduce apprentice numbers from 280 per year down to 96 per year," he said.

"Areas such as Ipswich have youth unemployment levels at over 20% and these high paid executives are closing job opportunities for our kids.

"We fought in 2005 to get minimum apprentice numbers into the agreement.

"Energex reduced their apprentice intake in January this year by 60 and promised us that here would be no further reductions. But they are still talking about reducing the number of apprentices.

"Go into the Raceview Energex depot and many of those young workers have come up through those apprenticeships.

"They are going to lose that chance of stepping up and becoming the tradesmen of the future, to replace the ageing workers that are starting to break down because of the manual nature of our industry."

The LNP's Ipswich West MP Sean Choat said the Energex stance was "short sighted".

"They are going to have to put up a good case for that, because I won't support it," he said.

"They should be investing in the training of younger people for the jobs that are going to be there for the future.

"As technology improves, they will need better qualified people. They are going to have to have a rethink."

Meanwhile Mr Traill said history taught a valuable lesson about the result of the interference of right wing governments in electricity assets.

"In Victoria the SECV (State Electricity Commission of Victoria) went from 12000 to 2500 employees after Jeff Kennett privatised them. It destroyed the La Trobe valley and towns and shops shut down.

"If the LNP get through their leasing and privatisation, based on what has happened in Victoria and South Australia, jobs will be cut."

There are upwards of 10 apprentices at the Energex depot in Raceview now.

However, ETU secretary Peter Simpson has warned the fate of apprentices there would go the same way as they have elsewhere under privatisation.

"After privatisation, they didn't train one apprentice in Victoria until 10 years later when the union finally convinced them to start training again," Mr Simpson said.

Mr Choat said any organisation that wanted to lease electricity assets "would have to have a requirement to invest in training".

Topics:  apprentices, electrical trades union, energex, ergon energy, powerlink, privatisation, sean choat



Ipswich pensioner wins $260K on scratchie

BIG WIN: A woman purchased a ticket at a Goodna newsagency and is now $260K richer.

Found out while waiting in the doctor's surgery

Shark warning! Ipswich to erect signs at river hot spots

BULLISH: Brisbane and Bremer rivers are full of bull sharks so warning signs are planned to go up alerting residents to the dangers.

Sharks still teeming in Brisbane, Bremer rivers

Firm told to apologise, pay back $16K to Korean backpackers

Boonah Packing Pty Ltd supplied labour to one of Australia's leading carrot producers, Scott Moffat & Co, trading as Moffatt Fresh Produce who supply carrots to major supermarket chains like Woolworths and Aldi.

Boonah business caught ripping off foreign workers

Local Partners

Homer Simpson thanks Australia during Opera House visit

Homer Simpson visits the Sydney Opera House.

ANIMATION favourite gets attacked by seagulls in viral video.

Channel 9 orders second season of Doctor Doctor

Rodger Corser stars in the TV series Doctor Doctor.

RURAL medical drama finds a loyal following.

Katy Perry gets naked to encourage people to vote

Katy Perry in Funny Or Die sketch

Katy Perry has stripped naked for a comedy video

Jogging Tom Hanks crashes wedding in Central Park

Tom Hanks stopped for a selfie with this bride and groom

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Housing report points to a lift in local market

AFFORDABLE HOMES: First home buyers have the opportunity to purchase modern new homes in the Ipswich region for under $400,000.

Region shaping up as the "final frontier” for affordable housing

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets

Another Ripley development

THE ENTRANCE: An overview of the last planned development for the fast growing Ripley area.

85 more home lots released

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.