Geiger Electrical to lose staff in Queensland merger

A regional electrical company has said the Queensland Government’s decision to merge Ergon and Energex has forced it to sack a third of its workforce.

On Thursday, Toowoomba company Geiger Electrical told 45 workers from Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Hervey Bay, Yeppoon and Toowoomba they would be made redundant.

In a letter to the workers, which was tabled in State Parliament, Geiger managing director Anton Griffiths said there would be limited work for them from the merged company, which would be looking towards internal resources.

“In recent months we have experienced significant reductions in work volume as well as margin from Ergon and now it looks like work will be completely dried up within the next four weeks,” Mr Griffiths said.

“Our depots in Townsville, Hervey Bay, Yeppoon, Rockhampton and Toowoomba will also be forced to close. At this point in time we aren’t in a position to absorb redundancy costs, creditor costs etc which is of utmost concern to us, bearing in mind the effect this will have on our staff, their families and the direct knock-on effect in the community.”

State-owned distributors Ergon and Energex will merge in the coming weeks into a $24 billion company called Energy Queensland.

Opposition energy spokesman Michael Hart said Energy Minister Mark Bailey was to blame, and had let regional Queensland down.

“They’re all for regional jobs but they’ve let those people down pretty badly I would suggest,” he said.