Energex attacked for staff shortage

THE Electrical Trades Union has used Thursday's superstorm to highlight the dangers of cost-cutting in the state's electricity sector.

The union used the Palmer United Party-led Senate Inquiry into the Queensland Government to highlight what it said was "inexcusable mismanagement" by Energex executives.

ETU claimed Energex deployed only six crews between 11pm and 4.30am after the storm, in an effort to save money in penalty rates.

The storm cut electricity to more than 80,000 homes. Thousands are still without power.

But Liberal Senator James McGrath and a spokesman for Energex both strongly disputed the claims yesterday.

The spokesman said the minimum number of crews working during that period was 42, with the average somewhere in the mid-50s.