Cairns power kept safe from tides (and fishing)

Published: 17 Feb 2015 3:16pm

Ergon Energy is working proactively to keep its network safe at two locations in Cairns, with king tides and overzealous fishing enthusiasts presenting separate issues in two parts of the city.

King tides – Ergon crews patrol

With record tides predicted to flood some low-lying areas over the next two days, Ergon will have two crews patrolling the Portsmith area ready to de-energise pillar box connections for public safety if waters threaten to inundate these devices.

Pillar boxes sit at ground level and are connection points for individual customer premises.

"There is no threat to Ergon's high voltage assets and we would not expect large numbers of customers to be affected," Customer Delivery Manager Charlie Casa said.

"We have crews on standby to attend to individual pillar box disconnections in Portsmith if necessary, and we are monitoring other locations in the CBD if tidal inundation presents any issues," Mr Casa said.

Ergon has already delivered works to reduce flooding risk to a number of connection pillars in the Portsmith area and is investigating options for relocating more pillar boxes in the future.

 Redden Creek crossing – fishing line entanglements

Meanwhile, Ergon has reconfigured the position of overhead powerlines adjacent to a bridge across Redden Creek near Machans Beach – a spot popular with local fishing enthusiasts.

Powerlines within casting distance of the bridge had become entangled with multiple fishing lines and presented a possible safety risk. The fishing line entanglements are also believed to have caused power interruptions for the suburb of Machans Beach in the past.

"There was evidence that these powerlines had been clashed together in the past - possibly caused by fishermen pulling the conductors together after accidently casting lines over them," explained Mr Casa.

"With our obvious safety concerns around this, we have repositioned the conductors that run over the creek close to this bridge to avoid conductor clashes," he said.

Ergon advises people should stay well away from powerlines and not touch anything that is in contact with powerlines. "If you are aware of anything tangled in powerlines, let Ergon know immediately on 13 22 96 and keep yourself and others well away," Mr Casa said.

Media Contact: Mark Timmerman
Phone: (07) 4432 8731

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