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Unions call on Ipswich's MPs to oppose Swanbank job losses

PROTEST: ETU members protest the planned mothballing of the Swanbank E gas power station owned by Stanwell Corporation.
PROTEST: ETU members protest the planned mothballing of the Swanbank E gas power station owned by Stanwell Corporation. Contributed

UNIONS have called on Ipswich's MPs to oppose the closure of the Swanbank E generator in October.

More than 60 people yesterday attended a rally in support of the 33 Swanbank workers who are facing losing their jobs when the State Government-owned generator Stanwell mothballs Swanbank E.

Electrical Trades Union (ETU) state organiser Jason Young said the decision by Stanwell was nothing more than privatisation by stealth.

"They have decided they are going to become a commodity trader instead of a supplier of cost- effective, energy efficient electricity for Queenslanders, they have put profit before the people of Queensland and before the jobs of Swanbank workers," he said.

"Workers here aren't dumb they know this is yet another case of privatisation, asset sales by stealth.

"(LNP member for Ipswich) Mr Berry and (LNP member for Ipswich West) Mr Choat have been silent for too long, and Mr Choat in particular promised to cross the floor on asset sales, he now has the chance to make good that promise, he has indicated he will visit the site next week, I urge you all to give it to him, let him and the LNP know your feelings on job cuts and asset sales"

 

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Mr Choat said while the job losses at Swanbank were a key concern for him he denied there would be any asset sales without a mandate at the voting booth.

As far as the Premier has said, there will be no asset sales unless there is a mandate," he said.

Mr Choat said he will be meeting with representatives from the ETU next week.

"I'm genuinely going out there to hear their opinions," he said.

"If they just want to yell me down then that could be a real missed opportunity."

Mr Choat believed there was potential for Swanbank workers to gain employment at the soon-to-be operational Next Generation Rollingstock train maintenance facility at Wulkaraka.

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Topics:  electrical trades union, job losses, stanwell, swanbank




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