Moss­man elec­tric­ity up­gade de­layed

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - An­gelique Pat­ter­son

THE de­ci­sion to up­grade Moss­man’s elec­tric­ity sup­ply has been de­layed un­til next month with the re­quest for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on dif­fer­ent op­tions.

Last month a pro­posal for con­struc­tion of a new Moss­man zone sub­sta­tion con­nected to the 132kV trans­mis­sion was con­sid­ered by an Er­gon sub-com­mit­tee to im­prove the re­li­a­bil­ity of elec­tric­ity in Moss­man and sur­rounds.

The sub-com­mit­tee is look­ing for the most cost-ef­fec­tive so­lu­tion and re­quested more in­for­ma­tion be pro­vided on two other so­lu­tions in­stead of con­struct­ing a new Moss­man zone sub­sta­tion at Cas­sowary.

Rocky Point-Port Views Es­tate Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion sec­re­tary Mal­colm McKel­lar said the other op­tions in­cluded mak­ing the con­nec­tion at the Craiglie sub­sta­tion, which pow­ers Port Dou­glas, and retic­u­lat­ing it all the way back to Moss­man.

‘‘The other op­tion is to re­de­velop the 66kV line all the way from Ma­reeba down to Moss­man sub­sta­tion so it’s a much more ro­bust and re­li­able sys­tem - but that’s not a sen­si­ble long term in­vest­ment es­pe­cially when the 132kV line runs along­side the 66kV line any­way,’’ he said.

‘‘The team who put the submission to­gether for the re­view com­mit­tee didn’t put as much ef­fort into the other two al­ter­na­tives as it’s not the way to go but none­the­less the com­mit­tee came back and said it wanted more in­for­ma­tion.

‘‘It’s very dis­ap­point­ing and our con­cern is the longer it gets dragged out the more op­por­tu­nity for government in­ter­ven­tion to put the project aside, we have been down this road sev­eral times of the last 15 years.’’

Mr McKel­lar de­scribed the de­lay as a clas­sic bu­reau­cratic de­lay­ing tac­tic which has left their as­so­ci­a­tion frus­trated and hop­ing that some­thing will be done to im­prove the re­li­a­bil­ity of elec­tric­ity.

‘‘We’re dis­ap­pointed not only be­cause of this de­lay but be­cause this is an in­ter­nal process to Er­gon there­fore it should be fa­mil­iar and they should’ve known the com­mit­tee would want de­tails on all of the op­tions although they are rec­om­mend­ing this one,’’ he said.

Mr McKel­lar said there has been some pos­i­tive signs, with veg­e­ta­tion clear­ing oc­cur­ring at the Moss­man sub­sta­tion in Cas­sowary and dis­cus­sions with lo­cal stake­hold­ers in­clud­ing the Moss­man Soc­cer Club and Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil to en­sure there are no un­ex­pected is­sues or de­lays if the project is ap­proved.

If the Er­gon sub-com­mit­tee ap­prove the con­struc­tion of a new Moss­man sub­sta­tion by April, the next round of ap­proval will be de­cided by March 2014 and if ap­proved, con­struc­tion should be­gin within 12 months.

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