Fix it or face Blackout…Wipeout ETU warns government
Electrical Trades Union members in Alice Springs have had a gut full of TGen’s incompetence as the town of 30000 was again plunged into darkness on Sunday. The blackouts which affected most of the town lasted for up to 9 ½ hours could have been mitigated or avoided altogether the union says.
ETU Territory organiser Dave “Strawbs” Hayes said the union and its members have been proactive in telling TGen management that their systems were not fit for purpose and that they needed to have Ron Goodin Power Station (RGPS) on active standby for exactly these eventualities.
“The guys on the front line live and breathe this stuff and they have been saying for months that RGPS was prematurely closed and that Owen Springs was not adequately tested to ensure continuity of supply. They have been urging TGen to complete required maintenance on RGPS to keep the generator on active standby. These requests have been denied and instead of facing a blackout extending minutes at worst residents had to endure up to 9 ½ hours in uncomfortable heat. It’s not on, TGen managers are playing Russian roulette with people’s lives.” Mr Hayes said.
“Sunday’s blackout was the second in as many weeks and the causes sit directly at the feet of the TGen’s Chief Operations Officer, Grant Chorvat and CEO, Tim Duignan and they must be sacked for their gross negligence.”
Further, the union called for local Alice Springs ETU members to be included on the government’s investigation panel, to ensure it does not end up as a sham.
“Enough is enough, the government is losing all credibility on this issue and it is facing a blackout… wipeout if it continues to treat Alice residents as third-class citizens, we demand local representation on the investigation panel, anything less will be seen for what it is another sham investigation,” he said.
Union members also demand;
- Immediate maintenance resources directed to Ron Goodin Power Station to repair identified out of service generation plant,
- Immediate repair of the water softening plant to ensure full generation output, currently restricted due to fouling of the engine cooling systems,
- Delay of the Cold Standby period of Ron Goodin Power Station until Owen Springs Power Station can be sufficiently tested under real world conditions,
- Delay the removal of RGPS operations personnel from a 24/7 shift.