Moyne council backs Port Fairy traders in search for answers to power outages

MOYNE Shire mayor James Purcell has labelled this week’s power outages in Port Fairy unacceptable as the council and traders join forces in the push for answers. 

Speaking to The Standard following three outages, Cr Purcell said the council had received little feedback from network operator Powercor on the issue. 

“We’re not getting any information,” Cr Purcell said.

“It’s unacceptable in modern times that you could have three outages in a week. 

“What we need are assurances that this won’t become a weekly event.”

Powercor regional manager Nick Rees gave assurances against an outage repeat, saying the company had diverted power around the town to avoid overloads. 

“There was one circuit that was overloaded (because of) upgrades to the supermarket and businesses,” Mr Rees said. 

“We’ve transferred load to another circuit and that should alleviate all problems in the near term. 

“Going forward we will be doing more monitoring of the main street.” 

Moyne Shire and traders will meet next week to put together a submission to Powercor. 

“We’re going to get the traders together, rather than all seek separate answers ourselves … we will be making a joint submission,” Cr Purcell said. 

The outages have led to questions over the age of Port Fairy’s power lines and fuses and if infrastructure has been outpaced by development, including more stores. 

“You’re never going to get the infrastructure providers to admit it, but it does appear to be the way,” Cr Purcell said. 

But Mr Rees said equipment in the Port Fairy centre had only been installed five years ago as part of streetscape works.

“The option now is that we need to work out where the load issues are,” he said. 

Cr Purcell said businesses and cafes were still anxious that another outage could strike during the summer season or the Folk Festival long weekend. 

“If it did the Folk Festival have got their own back-up generators, but the rest of the town would suffer.” 

On Thursday, Port Fairy Business Association head Ken Brookes said store owners were very upset over the week’s events. 

“We would like some appraisal of the infrastructure in the main street,” he said. 

“We can only assume it’s ageing infrastructure. We’d like someone to have a hard look and see what the infrastructure is really like.” 

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