Malcolm Wassell is the last full-time meter reader in Gladstone. He has worked for Ergon Energy for 28 years.
Malcolm Wassell is the last full-time meter reader in Gladstone. He has worked for Ergon Energy for 28 years. Christopher Chan

Gladstone's only full-time meter reader switches off

AFTER 28 years of service, Ergon Energy meter reader Malcolm Wassell is switching off.

The only full-time meter reader in Gladstone, Mr Wassell has taken a voluntary redundancy package as Ergon looks to consolidate its meter reading activities throughout regional Queensland.

Mr Wassell began his career in customer service for Ergon back in 1980, where he worked in customer service at the Gladstone office until 1996.

A five-year hiatus followed, until in 2001, whilst working as a meter reader for hired labour, Ergon came calling.

"I got a phone call in 2001. Their meter reader had left them in the lurch and they asked me if I could jump on board," Mr Wassell said.

"I said, 'When do you want me to start?' and they said, 'Get to the office straight away'." 

What was meant to be a three-month stint turned into 12 years of service, and despite being offered alternative deployments with Ergon, Mr Wassell said redundancy offered the best solution for his family.

"I'm not entirely happy with what's happened, but it was my choice to go," he said.

"My background is in office work so I couldn't see myself learning to drive trucks and climb trees.

"My kids and grandkids are in Brisbane so it made sense to take the redundancy, and we will look to try and relocate to Brisbane and be closer to the family."

Ergon's corporate communications manager for Central Queensland, Bob Pleash, said the company was grateful for the efforts of its staff, especially those who had served long-term.

"We acknowledge the efforts of all our staff and particularly our long-serving staff, who have provided great service to Central Queensland," Mr Pleash said.



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