‘Get it fixed’: frustration grows over rural blackouts
Upcoming upgrades to the power grid north of Gympie will hopefully bring relief for rural residents as frustration continues to grow over repeated blackouts.
Curra, Glenwood and Gunalda residents fed up with what they feel is an unreliable service have banded together online to help deal with the problem.
A new Facebook group dedicated to discussing the ongoing power problems has sprung up, attracting 78 members in the three days since its creation.
Several residents have said the outages pose a threat to their health.
“I need to keep my medication cold,” Curra’s Kelly Taylor said.
The “shocking” phone service in the area meant her only means of communication was often Wi-Fi internet; and this was cut when the power went out, too.
Ms Taylor said the blackouts often hit around 5-7pm, and “just about any time it rains”.
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She has been advised by other residents online to buy a generator, but even setting aside the cost to do so it would be impractical.
“I can’t start a generator,” she said.
“They need to get it fixed.”
An Ergon Energy spokesman said work to upgrade electricity reliability in Curra was expected to start in March and be finished by mid-next year.
Work would then start on upgrades to the supply at Glenwood and Gunalda.
He said there did not appear to be any systemic or technical issues with the supply to those areas.
The majority of these outages “were caused by outside influences such as wildlife, possible earlier storm damage etc. and momentary outages due to the operation of our protection equipment detecting external interference on the feeder (supply line)”.
Vegetation coming into contact with poles, wires or other assets was another cause of outages.