Lights out in the Douglas region
THE parlous state of eelectricity supplysup reliability in thet Douglas region - specifically Mossman, south to Oak Beach and north to Daintree Village but excluding Port Douglas - is little better than a third-world service in this day and age.
We have suffered seven significant power failures in the past 11 weeks, with an average duration of two hours and nine minutes.
During this same period there have been at least 12 further failures ranging from one or two seconds to a minute which nonetheless have the ability to do enormous damage to home and business electronic equipment, not to mention people’s confidence in posting accounts or putting a cake in the oven.
These failures have not occurred during cyclonic conditions, during which times we might expect failures, and are, unfortunately, far from unusual in this area.
Our day-to-day power failures derive from two sources.
Typically the longer ones are caused by storm activity or other failures on the Tablelands that bring down the old and bedraggled 66kv line that wanders from Mareeba all over Mt Molloy and Julatten and ultimately arrives at the Cassowary substation at the foot of the Rex Range near South Mossman, and which “serves” all of the “Greater Mossman” area except Port Douglas.
The reason Port Douglas is excluded is that in the mid-1990s Ergon (then the FNQEB) ran a new 132kv line from Mareeba to Port Douglas, paralleling the main thrust of the old 66kv line all the way to the Cassowary substation, before continuing on to Port Douglas.
I am not aware of any noncyclonic instance where Port Douglas has been impacted by these Tablelands-induced power failures that so often compromise the 66kv supply, which was indeed the purpose of the 132kv line, and it was the stated intention of the FNQEB at the time to remove the 66kv line and to move all consumers onto that more reliable 132kv service “within a few years”.
Typically the shorter ones are locally induced, through vehicle accidents, by trees or branches falling on lines, and/ or by localised equipment failure.
Being local, these are usually rectified quicker, however, the vegetation-clearing regime implemented some years ago seems unfortunately to have diminished in recent years, to the detriment of supply reliability locally.
My point is to ask, once again: “When is Ergon going to honour its promise to disconnect the 66kv supply at the Cassowary substation and to convert the approximately 6000 non-port Douglas residents of the ’Greater Mossman’ area still on that line on to the highly reliable 132kv supply, and to bring them into the 21st century as far as electricity supply reliability is concerned?”
I have been chasing a resolution of this problem for 14 years, unfortunately without much success.
I can assure you that I am not going to let this lie, until it is successfully resolved.
Any pressure that you can bring to bear to help resolve this issue once and for all would be much appreciated by