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to the People of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland from Glasshouse to
Kenilworth and west to Peachester.

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Boom gate black-out not good
enough says Nationals Candidate

by Cameron Outridge

A minor interruption to Beerwah’s power supply could have major implications in an emergency, according to National Party candidate for Glass House John Longhurst.

Mr Longhurst was referring to an incident in Beerwah on Saturday when three people were trapped in a lift for about 15 minutes and traffic backed up because of a malfunctioning boom gate at the rail crossing.   “If there’s an accident on this boom gate or something as simple as a power blackout and it chops the boom gates – then how are the emergency services going to get over here?’’ asked Mr Longhurst.    “It effectively blocks Beerwah from the other side of the highway.

Mr Longhurst said the malfunctions highlighted the larger issue for residents which was frequent power failures in Beerwah and Glass House. “Power failures cause all sorts of troubles including the possibility of boom gates malfunctioning which could cause a great risk to our community.

“If access to Beerwah is closed then Emergency Services, ambulance and police will also be affected. “There is an access point up further, underneath the power line, but that’s been closed off. Maybe that should be re-opened just for emergency services.

“Power blackouts in Beerwah and Glass House had been an ongoing issue for years and years and years,” said Div Two Cr Anna Grosskreutz.   “Everyone thought that when the government upgraded the substation three years ago, that that would solve the problem, but it hasn’t,” she said.    “Also, with regards to our older people and their air conditioning, because of the hot weather there’s increasing demand on Energex so I would say that the system simply hasn’t been able to cope with that surge in need and it needs to.     Extremely humid and hot weather is a critical time for this community and people have to have power when it’s hot.   “Businesses have been severely affected by powerecuts and in this day and age many small businesses run the gauntlet between staying open and shutting their doors.

Continual power failures are just another set-back.    “With the growth of the area both Anna and myself want to make sure that people have the basic infrastructure to an acceptable standard - and that includes electricity,’’ said Mr Longhurst.

“I believe the state government has borrowed money from Energex to fund other areas when they should be using it to maintain and improve existing services. We want to make sure that Energex is spending its money on Energex items like getting substations updated.”     Energy Minister Paul Lucas said in a statement that in 2002 Energex increased the capacity of its Beerwah 33/11kV substation capacity to 110/33kV in order to meet current and future demand for the Beerwah and Woodford areas.

Cr Anna Grosskreutz, National Party Zone vice president Arthur Walton and John Longhurst at the crosssing where the boom gate malfunctioned during Saturday’s blackout.

Our thanks once again to Cameron & Tanya Outridge
of the Range News Newspaper for this story.