ESSENTIAL ENERGY employees can breathe a sigh of relief as Deputy Premier John Barilaro has announced a halt to job cuts in regional NSW.
The electricity company had planned to slash 182 jobs, two of those in Armidale and another two from Walcha and Tenterfield, revealed by internal documents obtained by the Electrical Trades Union [ETU].
At least three other jobs were slated to go in Tamworth and another two in Gunnedah.
After weeks of demands to Essential Energy to abandon the proposed job cuts, the state-owned corporation won't move forward with the plan, Mr Barilaro said.
"We worked with stakeholders, we listened to communities, we stayed firm on our position and we've now achieved a major victory for regional NSW," he said.
"From the start, I urged Essential Energy to find further efficiencies without job cuts and that approach has proved successful.
"Regional NSW is the backbone of this state, and as we continue to suffer through the worst drought on record the last thing our communities need are job losses."
At least 182 positions were expected to go across regional NSW.
Essential Energy interim chair Robyn Clubb and chief executive John Cleland held a meeting with state government ministers on Monday.
Essential Energy was ordered to stop the workforce reshaping process and consider alternate options for savings after the meeting.
The company will provide alternate options for savings and work with the state government to implement its decisions and put downward pressure on network charges as required by the Australian Energy Regulator.