Merger of power bodies negative

A LIKELY merger of power bodies Ergon and Energex could have a significant impact on jobs and ongoing operations at Ergon's major service centre in Rockhampton.

The Queensland government is currently conducting a review of government-owned electricity entities and an audit, headed by former federal treasurer Peter Costello.

Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne said that just about every newly elected conservative government in Australia in the past two decades had established an audit, similar to the Costello audit which has resulted in job cuts, mergers of government bodies and cuts to services.

Mr Byrne said jobs and service levels were under threat from the government's review and audit, and that the Newman Government must guarantee jobs and service levels to consumers who were not affected if a merger was recommended.

"In particular, if the government proceeds with the merger of Ergon and Energex, it must guarantee the jobs and ongoing operations at Ergon's major service centre in Rockhampton," Mr Byrne said.

An Ergon spokesman said he was not able to comment.

Energy and Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle did not comment on whether jobs were at risk or not with the review yesterday.

"The government has set up an independent departmental committee and an independent review panel to look into aspects of energy pricing in Queensland and will consider all options before it," he said.