Backup plan for lights

Gen­er­a­tor brought in as VicRoads ad­mits power bun­gle

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - JAIMEE WILKENS

VICROADS has re­fused to com­ment on the cost of a tem­po­rary gen­er­a­tor cur­rently pow­er­ing traf­fic lights at the in­ter­sec­tion of Me­laluka and Por­tar­ling­ton roads.

While the lights were fi­nally switched on on Mon­day af­ter months of de­lays and com­mu­nity angst, they are not be­ing pow­ered by the main grid.

It was re­vealed last week that the de­lay in the lights’ oper­a­tion was be­cause Pow­er­cor had not re­ceived the nec­es­sary “as built” plans from a VicRoads con­trac­tor, de­spite claims from the gov­ern­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion that the de­lay was due to the power sup­plier.

The plans are a re­quire­ment for Pow­er­cor to con­duct the fi­nal safety au­dit be­fore power can be con­nected.

Pow­er­cor still has not re­ceived those plans.

Bel­lar­ine MP Lisa Neville has been forced to back­track on com­ments made last week claim­ing she and VicRoads had been push­ing Pow­er­cor to con­nect the lights.

“I was ad­vised by VicRoads that the de­lay in turn­ing the lights on was due to works by Pow­er­cor. To­day Pow­er­cor have writ­ten to me in­di­cat­ing the de­lay is not with them,” she said.

“I in­di­cated to VicRoads last week it was my ex­pec­ta­tion that who­ever was de­lay­ing the project needed to have the lights on by Mon­day, which has oc­curred.

“My key pri­or­ity was get­ting these lights op­er­a­tional as quickly as pos­si­ble and that no fur­ther de­lays were ac­cept­able.”

A Pow­er­cor spokes­woman said the com­pany had reached out to VicRoads in an ef­fort to get the lights prop­erly con­nected as soon as pos­si­ble.

“All work con­ducted by ex­ter­nal con­trac­tors on our net­work must un­dergo a thor­ough au­dit to en­sure any in­fras­truc­ture is safe,” she said.

“Once the lights pass the safety checks, we will be able to con­nect them to the net­work.”

VicRoads has con­firmed that the nec­es­sary plans are be­ing fi­nalised and should be ready by the end of the week.

VicRoads re­gional di­rec­tor south­west Mark Koliba de­clined to com­ment on the cost of the gen­er­a­tor or how long it is ex­pected to be used.

Pic­ture: GLENN FER­GU­SON

FIRED UP: New traf­fic lights at in­ter­sec­tion of Por­tar­ling­ton and Me­laluka roads are be­ing pow­ered by a gen­er­a­tor to meet the start-up dead­line.

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