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Spirit ‘ripped away’

Wednesday, 9th December, 2015

By Erica Visser

A Labor Councillor says the city’s power company has ripped jobs and now Christmas spirit from the community.

Local figures yesterday condemned Essential Energy for failing to inform the public of its plans to shelve the Christmas decorations to save money.

Cr Darriea Turley yesterday praised workers for assembling the giant, decorative tree on the Oxide and Beryl streets roundabout in their own time.

However, ornaments that usually line the CBD were notably absent after Essential Energy banned employees from installing these and the tree during work hours.

Cr Turley said it was a “disgrace” the company had kept quiet on the issue when locals could have rallied together to find a solution.

“The heroes of the day are the workers. They actually care about the community more than the State Government does,” she said.

“It’s an absolute disappointment and a shame that management at Essential Energy do not have enough respect for the community to inform them on this.

“What a disgrace. They’ve pulled enough jobs out of Broken Hill. Why take away the Christmas spirit as well?”

Cr Turley said fears that cost-cutting would lead to company to say “bah humbug” to Christmas had been partially behind a push to reinstate Council’s own tree in the Town Square, after it was left in storage last year.

“Essential Energy have gotten away with moving jobs to Dubbo so why wouldn’t they assume they’d get away with this?

“The way it is going this won’t be the end of job losses for workers as well.”

The Chamber of Commerce’s Ann Rogers also said that local businesses would have been willing to help.

“I think that it’s a shame this has happened. We want our kids to have the same things we had growing up,” Ms Rogers said.

“You only have to go by the pageant - three weeks ago it looked like it was not going ahead and they put the call out and had a huge turnout.

“Of course, public liability would be a concern but if they had notified us or even put a press release out than at least we could’ve had a conversation about it.”

Independent Cr Jim Richards said the workers who donated their time deserved praise. 

“Well done to the people who volunteered to put it up. The company might not say thank you but the community will.”

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