ELECTRICITY: Power poles in the Boyne Valley have been moved to help shorten outages. Photo: Craig Wilson
ELECTRICITY: Power poles in the Boyne Valley have been moved to help shorten outages. Photo: Craig Wilson

Ergon’s plan to keep Boyne Valley connected

SMALL changes to the power network at the Boyne Valley, which has previously struggled with frequent power outages, have made a big difference.

Ergon Energy this week moved five power poles to further away from the river and closer to the road.

Capricornia area manager Brian Dingle said the changes to the network configuration weren’t big but could make a huge difference.

“It’s really important that we support these smaller communities and while we’ve only moved five poles over a 500m section of line, it should help with reliability of supply to that community,” Mr Dingle said.

It’s a move welcomed by Nagoorin resident Ron Streeter.

He said in extreme weather conditions, especially floods, the township often lost power.

“Pretty much everyone up here has a generator,” he said.

“When it’s wet weather and the creek’s up … they’ll stop the power people from getting there to do repairs and they have to wait for them to go down.”

He said during the 2013 floods Nagoorin was without power for close to a week.

Nagoorin resident Ross McClure said since the poles had been moved he believed the power supply had been more efficient.

“Even if we had a shower … you could just about bet we’d have some power problems,” Mr McClure said.

“This last 18 months or so, since they have been doing a lot of work out in the valley our outages have reduced, there’s no denying that.”

Builyan resident Frank McKee said during outages his township could go without power for up to two days.

“The Ergon guys are absolutely brilliant,” Mr McKee said.

“They’ll chopper a crew in and do a temporary repair. When the waters go down they come in and do it up properly.”

He said fires and lightning storms also caused outages for the town.

“There’s less chance of those poles getting eroded out and falling into the water in the Boyne River,” Mr McKee said.

“We know there’s a chance we’ll be out of power, most have generators just in case. We hope not to have to start them, but if we do need them, they’re there.”