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News News Jobs slashed in gas explosion aftermath
JOB losses have began to bite as West Australian businesses battle to cope with the 30 per cent cut to the state's gas supplies caused by last week's explosion at the Apache Energy-run pipeline.

With companies reporting lay-offs after the shutdown of the 100km pipeline from Varanus Island to the mainland, Premier Alan Carpenter said yesterday the Government was working hard to co-ordinate a response, but he conceded it was a serious issue, The Australian reports.

"You can't just shrug off a 30 per cent decline in your gas resource profile," he said.

The hospitality industry was yesterday bracing for massive problems as clean sheets and towels become luxury items.

After being forced to shut on Friday, the state's largest hotel laundry service, Prime Laundry, warned it could be bankrupt within weeks after its entire gas allocation was cut by energy retailer Alinta.

Prime Laundry general manager Robert Dube said 80 casual workers had been laid off, and a similar number of permanent staff were now at risk as the business bled about $250,000 a week, no longer able to meet its contracts.

And he accused Alinta of unfairly targeting some businesses at the expense of others by allowing smaller laundries to continue working.

Midland Brick divisional general manager Peter Hogan was also angry, saying the forced closure for a week of the company's works at Middle Swan, the largest brickworks in the world, had placed tens of thousands of jobs in the construction industry at risk, yet getting information had been like "pulling teeth".

Mr Hogan said the company did not source its gas from Apache but was still forced to close when Alinta cut its electricity supplies.


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