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Brothers - in - arms - reunited in Debbie restoration

Published: 7 Apr 2017 12:57pm

Two long standing mates have been re-untied during Ergon’s Tropical Cyclone Debbie restoration effort.

Warwick Work Group Leader John Gillott and Innisfail live liney Anis Mani met again after more than 30 years of working at opposite ends of the state.

The old mates were stoked to run into each other at Club Crocodile in Airlie Beach – one of many bases used by Ergon for crews restoring power in the Whitsundays.

“It was great catching up with Anis again because we became good mates when we did three training modules in Brisbane all those years ago,” John, 63, said.

Anis, 50 and now an Ergon employee, was an apprentice at the time and flew from his home in Papua New Guinea to attend lines school.

Image of two men in Ergon Energy uniforms

The reunion with John, and the good memories that followed, made his day. “We were brothers - I rang my missus afterwards and said ‘That was the best time of my life’,” Anis said.

They are part of more than 900 Ergon Energy and Energex crews along with 100 Essential Energy crews from New South Wales as well as contractors, who are working in the cyclone impacted area restoring power.

Corporate Communications Manager John Fowler said Ergon was on track to achieve its restoration plan.

“We’ve already restored power to 86% of cyclone impacted customers where it is safe do so – in fact two days ahead of schedule,” he said.

“We’ve restored power to over 57,000 customers in just over a week, down from the peak of 65,000 when Debbie’s cyclonic winds impacted our network. “

“Our aim is to restore all customers, where it is safe to do so, by Good Friday April 14 and we are well on the way to achieving that. However we know our network has been heavily impacted in the Airlie Beach area. That is now the focus of our restoration efforts as we bring in more crews from other communities that have had their power restored,” he said.

Mr Fowler praised the communities and customers impacted for their patience and understanding during the restoration effort.

“Customer understanding of the work involved restoring power has been significant. They can see the damage to the network and our staff out there working to restore their power. The communities have been wonderfully thoughtful to our staff even baking cakes, biscuits and donating sausages for a BBQ. It’s been greatly appreciated by our crews,” he said.

Media Contact: John Fowler
Phone: 0417 2783 713