Greenough power outages leaves communities feeling forgotten

Jake DietschGeraldton Guardian
S Bend Caravan Park Owners Gary and Maxine Miles.
Camera IconS Bend Caravan Park Owners Gary and Maxine Miles. Credit: Francesca Mann/Geraldton Guardian

Communities who have been plagued by “devastating” outages on the outskirts of Geraldton have been left in the lurch, with long-awaited work to address power outages in Greenough delayed for a month.

Double Beach Caravan Park manager Lee-Anne Galati said they had experienced five outages since Boxing Day, with some lasting more than 20 hours.

“We all pay a network access fee. We’re not getting power so why should we pay the fee,” Ms Galati said.

“It always seems to be the outer Geraldton area that cops it.

“Not everyone can afford to go out and buy a generator and we shouldn’t have to if we’re paying for power.”

Ms Galati said when the power went out their fuel station did not work and they had to refund their guests.

“It’s not just about us, it’s the whole community that is impacted,” she said.

Ms Galati wants Western Power to notify residents of the cause of outages and install a generator for outer-Geraldton, which runs on a separate grid to the City of Geraldton.

She said while the power issues had been ongoing for about 20 years, they were getting worse in the past five.

S-Bend Caravan Park owner Maxine Miles has counted 25 outages between April 17 last year and February 6 of this year.

“The impact is devastating,” Ms Miles said.

“We’re not on the main water so we lose access to fresh water. The sewerage pumps stop.

“Over Christmas we had to put people in cabins with no power in 47 degree heat.

“The batteries die at the Telstra tower so then we lose telecommunications.”

Ms Miles wants general maintenance done, rather than a “patchwork” response to individual issues.

“The Western Power workers on the ground are great and I take my hat off to them,” she said.

“But the powers that be in Perth aren’t doing enough.

“If this was in the City of Perth they would address it properly. But we’re getting left behind.”

A Western Power spokeswoman said work scheduled for last week in Greenough were postponed “due to the bushfire emergencies on the network”.

She said they had been rescheduled for March 15 and would include work to provide the ability to back feed remotely in the event of an outage.

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