Workers return to Swanbank Station after losing their jobs

Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Anthony Lynham visits Swanbank E Power Station after it was switched on.
Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Anthony Lynham visits Swanbank E Power Station after it was switched on. Hayden Johnson

MOST of the workers tasked with keeping Queensland powered this summer have returned to Swanbank E Power Station after losing their jobs three years ago.

On Thursday, Energy Minister Anthony Lynham marked the station's return to capacity after it was mothballed in late 2014.

Its recommissioning, designed to respond during peak power demand this summer, reinstated 16 jobs.

The Electrical Trade Union's electrical supply industry organiser, Stuart Traill, said it was a positive decision to reopen the plant.

"It's definitely a relief, it's what the state needs and it's what Ipswich needs,” he said.

"It creates local jobs and puts downward pressure on electricity prices.”

The union organiser said many people now working at the factory had returned to their old employment.

"You think about the technology and the experience you need to operate and maintain a power station, it makes sense to re-employ the people who lost their jobs,” Mr Traill said.

"A lot of those guys transferred over from the previous Swanbank (stations) as well so they've got extensive experience and decades of experience in the power industry and they're glad to get back into it.”

He said the union had made efforts to reconnect old workers with the station.

"We've played a role in getting in contact with those workers and putting them in contact with Stanwell to make sure we had skilled operators and skilled local employees back in the power station where they never should have lost their job from anyway,” he said.

Mr Traill praised the State Government's commitment to public ownership of services and said his members believed there was better job security under Labor leadership.

"It makes sense to have workers working from publicly-owned energy companies whether it's the generator or the distributor - making sure that essential services always should stay in public ownership,” he said.

Topics:  electrical trade union employment swanbank power station

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