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Local support is helping Ergon get the job done

Published: 25 Feb 2015 12:16pm

As power restoration crews and emergency workers continue to pour into staging areas in Rockhampton and Yeppoon, Ergon Energy has acknowledged the support of Central Queensland businesses and the public.

The ongoing restoration of power supply after Tropical Cyclone Marcia would be a "significantly greater challenge" without the help of local businesses and the understanding of local residents, according to Ergon Chief Executive Ian McLeod.

"We have seen a number of local businesses, particularly accommodation providers, go beyond the call to help accommodate our workers," Mr McLeod said.

"For example, I am aware of a lady working at the Empire Apartment Hotel in Rockhampton who has been on duty for long hours and sleeping in her office to ensure relief workers can get accommodation," Mr McLeod said.

Cassidy Hospitality Group Managing Director Grant Cassidy, who runs the Empire Apartment Hotel and Edge facility in the Rockhampton CBD, said his staff had "risen to the challenge" with a "here to help" attitude.

"In a lot of cases staff have left their own circumstances to make sure the cyclone restoration crews were well catered for to help the Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast region get back on its feet," Mr Cassidy said.

Ergon has also been able to deliver temporary generation supply to hotel complexes in Yeppoon to house Ergon and other emergency workers.

In other examples of businesses getting behind the power restoration effort, the Coles supermarket in Yeppoon gifted more than $200 worth of meat, and Tip Top delivered 50 loaves of bread free of charge to one of Ergon's disaster catering vans.

Mr McLeod said suitable facilities for workers to rest and 'recharge' helped them avoid fatigue and safety issues after multiple days in the field.

Ergon's power restoration forces are ramping up towards 900 field workers on the ground in a plan to have electricity supply restored to urban areas in Rockhampton and Yeppoon by the end of the week. A strategy is also in place to restore power to outlying localities and rural areas via temporary generation where possible by next week.

"Every day we are seeing locals working together with us to help us get through these Cyclone Marcia impacts safely," Mr McLeod said. "Our message to customers across the region is 'thank you for your understanding - and working together with us to help you'," Mr McLeod said.

Media Contact: Bob Pleash
Phone: 49327327 or 0419714270

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