Is­land pro­ject pow­ers up be­low

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

A POWER pro­ject in the Whit­sun­days is set to de­liver peace of mind for tourism op­er­a­tors.

Pow­er­lines have gone un­der­ground to keep the lights on at Queens­land’s Whit­sun­day is­lands.

One year on from Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Deb­bie and the dev­as­ta­tion that struck through the re­gion, un­der­ground feed­ers have now re­placed over­heard power con­duc­tors con­nect­ing to the sub­ma­rine ca­bles.

En­ergy Min­is­ter Dr Anthony Lyn­ham said tourism op­er­a­tors made a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to the re­gion’s econ­omy and it was im­por­tant to help them get back on their feet af­ter a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter.

Er­gon En­ergy has led the $4.85 mil­lion pro­ject, which has con­nected three un­der­ground feed­ers to the sub­ma­rine ca­bles which sup­ply power to Hay­man, Hamil­ton, Day­dream and South Molle Is­lands.

“Tourism op­er­a­tors at the end of the line will ben­e­fit from a more re­silient net­work the next time some of Queens­land’s wild sum­mer weather blows through,” he said.

“The over­head net­work has been dam­aged by cy­clones and is also at risk from bush­fires.

“This will sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce Er­gon En­ergy’s main­te­nance costs and also cut the need for costly diesel gen­er­a­tion for is­land re­sorts.”

The line route runs through Con­way Na­tional Park, near Shute Har­bour, so en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion is a pri­or­ity for the pro­ject team.

“Ac­cess was a chal­lenge for con­struc­tion crews, who had to work along the ex­ist­ing nar­row, steep, rocky and wind­ing ease­ment,” Dr Lyn­ham said.

Con­struc­tion com­menced in May last year and the new un­der­ground high-volt­age feed­ers were com­mis­sioned in Septem­ber.

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