More Surat Basin jobs cut as project comes to end

JOBS in Dalby continue to disappear, with another 26 workers in Dalby being laid off at Ostwald Bros, adding to the about 100 jobs lost at the company near Christmas.

Chief executive Brendan Ostwald said he wanted to address the rumours circulating around the business due to the recent job losses.

"People fill the void with stories that may not be correct. This has all been part of the productivity review we knew was happening," he said.

"Basically, last year was all about project completion ... what's happened in the last six months, those projects have come to an end."

The 26 jobs lost at Dalby were among the 55 in total removed from the company last week. He said most of the positions were in administration-type roles.

"The market has collapsed. The capital spend has come off in line with what it said would come off ... but the biggest impact has been global oil prices," he said.

"There's just been a shockwave go through the oil and gas industries.

"The current number of staff is what we consider the right sizing for right now for us."

Mr Ostwald said even with the job losses the company still retained about as many positions as it had 12 months ago, with about 900 on staff - 530 of those positions in the Surat Basin.

"Over the years we've been trying to encourage people to live in the region. That's the most sustainable workforce you can have," hesaid.

"Around Christmas we had around 100 redundancies at the completion of a major project, that's normal business."

He said looking forward into 2015 he was positive about the opportunities presented to the business and continued to offer the training positions already on the books.

"We still have 70 trainees and apprentices, so we're continuing to train people," he said.

He said the industry contraction throughout oil and gas businesses was "the new norm".

"At the moment it's about renegotiating supply agreements with the major inputs to the business, not about removing heads but how we remain part of the future. We are still a significant employer."

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