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News News Gas crisis costs 630 jobs
The extent of the damage the gas crisis is causing to industry has been revealed in a survey by WA's peak business group.

A survey of its members by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry has revealed about 630 employees, or 1 per cent of the workforce of those polled, have or may have to be stood down or made redundant.

Production is down by 30 per cent, at least 11 companies have shut down and a further 16 have scaled back their operations by more than half.

More than one-third of the 301 respondents said they were concerned that the longer it took to restore supplies from Varanus Island, the greater the impact on themselves, employees and the economy.

A similar number said their businesses would be adversely affected if the crisis continued for another month, with that number rising to about 50 per cent if supplies are not restored within three months.

Some economists have estimated the crisis could wipe $1 billion off businesses' bottom lines.

Chamber chief economist John Nicolaou said the survey further reinforced the need for the public to cut back on energy use for the sake of the economy.

Meanwhile, Opposition leader Troy Buswell called on the Government to reelease all inspection reports into the Apache Energy plant.

He also wanted daily gas supply allocations for businesses and weekly updates on restoring supplies published.

The Government needed to appoint a minister to the Gas Supply Coordination Committee and the Employment Working Group, Mr Buswell said.

"There have been absolutely no contingency plans to deal with the interruption to the gas supply. The impact of this gas crisis is far more dramatic than it should have been," he said.

The Department of Industry and Resources had a "very limited" capacity to maange energy security issues in WA.

"The system is lacking transparency, it's confusing and causing enormous amounts of angst," he said.


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