Telstra CEO Andy Penn and Board tours Armidale 24 hours after announcement of nation-wide job cuts

TELSTRA ON TOUR: Telstra CEO Andy Penn with Board members at Armidale's New England Regional Art Museum on Thursday afternoon.
TELSTRA ON TOUR: Telstra CEO Andy Penn with Board members at Armidale's New England Regional Art Museum on Thursday afternoon.

Telstra is bracing for a cull to their New England workforce after the telco giant announced it would axe 1400 jobs across the nation.

But the Northern NSW General Manager, Michael Marom, told The Leader it would be the metro sites that would cop the brunt of the cuts if they went ahead.

“[In the New England] the job cuts, if any, will be minimal and likely to be less than a handful,” he said.

“We’ve got a very clear commitment to regional markets and that’s why we have network teams on the ground and service delivery crews to assist our regional and remote customers – none of that’s going to change.”

Less than 24 hours after Wednesday’s announcement, Telstra CEO Andy Penn and Board members flew into Armidale for a two-day tour of the city.

A visit with a focus on developing ties with regional organisations, Mr Marom said.

“It’s about interacting with key community leaders, university educators and also our customers to really understand what we can do to assist,” he said.

Armidale Regional Council’s organisational services leader Lindsay Woodland presented to the Board during a meeting at NERAM.

“It’s to do with smarter communities and working with companies like Telstra to achieve our vision for smart communities in the future,” Mr Woodland said.

“We want to make sure that we take the opportunity while the Telstra Board is in town to let them know we are a very dynamic part of Australia and we want to work with them and ideally attract their attention.”

The smarter communities strategy is a concept designed to combine technology-based tools to improve the liveability, productivity and sustainability in towns and cities across Australia.

ARC have indicated they may also apply for a smart cities grant through the federal government.

“We’re looking at environment-friendly smart lighting [and] things like interactive wayfinding and signage,” Mr Woodland said.

But time is of the essence, with applications closing on June 30.