Geiger Group seeks reassurance after Ergon lay-offs

TOOWOOMBA-BASED electrical group Geiger Group has laid off 45 people from across regional Queensland in response to changes in Ergon Energy contracting policy.

Geiger Group was forced to make workers redundant in Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Yeppoon and Townsville on Thursday after losing contracting work from the energy provider.

In parliament on Thursday, Toowoomba North MP Trevor Watts tabled emails between Geiger Group managing director Anton Griffiths  and the office of Energy Minister Mark Bailey. 

Mr Watts said while Geiger Group had not been able to meet with Mr Bailey, the Electrical Trades Union had met with government ministers 21 times.

But Geiger Group's Craig Coetzee said the issue was not political and he had no axe to grind with the minister.

"This is not about Labor or the ETU. It's about the impact on regional businesses," Mr Coetzee said.

He said the ETU had lobbied the government on Geiger Group's behalf.

He said Geiger Group had begun relocating workers to more viable locations including Victoria and northern NSW.

He said the company wanted to "seek reassurance" from the government on how the merged Energy Queensland would deal with contractors.

He said Geiger Group expanded to about 150 employees after Ergon Energy urged it to scale up to deal with more work.

Mr Bailey's office confirmed on Friday the Department of Energy and Water Supply Director-General would meet with Geiger Group representatives on Monday.

Ergon Energy did not respond to a request for comment.

- ARM NEWSDESK


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