MOYNE Shire will spend up to $10,000 for advice on Port Fairy’s troubled power network after doubting the assurances from Powercor.
The council has promised to seek out an independent review of infrastructure following a meeting with traders angry and anxious over outages which struck the town centre a fortnight ago.
Moyne Shire mayor and Port Fairy accountant James Purcell told The Standard he wasn’t convinced by the network operator’s explanations.
“We don’t believe we’re getting the truth,” Cr Purcell said.
“On the traders’ behalf we’re going to seek out an independent review of the infrastructure.
“We’re going to be looking at a few people so we can do it as soon as possible. It’s a busy time now right through to the Folk Festival.”
The council and businesses will also put a joint submission to Powercor asking for a definitive explanation of the issue.
Some have questioned the age of the network but Powercor insists much of the town’s power hardware was only installed eight years ago.
Powercor’s acting regional manager Robert Learey said power had been rerouted around the town centre to minimise a repeat while it looked for long-term solutions.
“Powercor is undertaking load tests to further understand the load increases and investigate/implement long-term solutions,” Mr Learey said.
The company has apologised to customers several times.
Cr Purcell said about 11 new stores were opening in Port Fairy, including the Bendigo Bank and new architecture firms, placing extra pressure on the network.
Council chief executive David Madden said Moyne would hear advice from an electrical engineer likely to cost council between $5000 and $10,000.
“It’s a modest cost ... the traders are very happy to see the council involved,” Mr Madden said.
“Port Fairy as a whole is growing healthily. All utility agencies need to monitor Port Fairy’s growth and plan for the future.”
IGA supermarket owner Colin Cleary said although Powercor’s local representatives had worked closely with traders “it’s a hard company to get something out of ... they’re probably not telling the truth”.
“I’m not an expert but there’s got to be something wrong for it to drop out.
“I think they’re trying.”