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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
    Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply
    The Honourable Mark Bailey

    People power restores energy to Queensland following TC Debbie

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply
    The Honourable Mark Bailey

    Wednesday, April 12, 2017

    People power restores energy to Queensland following TC Debbie

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has thanked Queensland communities for their patience while electricity crews worked tirelessly to restore power to about 270,000 homes and businesses throughout the state following Cyclone Debbie.

    The Premier said the field crews and support staff from Ergon Energy, Energex and Essential Energy (NSW) had achieved the final restoration of electricity in the cyclone-damaged areas in North Queensland well ahead of expected timeframes.

    “This has been an amazing effort by the field crews and support staff, some of whom worked around the clock to achieve this outcome,” she said.

    “Communities from right throughout Queensland, from the northern part of the state and right down to the New South Wales border, have all felt the effects of this cyclone.

    “Our electricity crews have been at the forefront of restoring life back to normality for a huge number of Queenslanders following the severe weather.”

    The Premier paid tribute to the thorough planning and preparation for the cyclone carried out by Energy Queensland and its distribution companies, Ergon Energy and Energex.

    “We have seen some major damage to communities and the electricity network in the northern part of the state where the cyclone made landfall, we then had to endure some really testing times with the flooding in the state’s south-east corner, and then in Central Queensland in and around Rockhampton,” she said.

    “Our electricity field crews were often some of the first responders into the affected areas, once it was safe to do so, and they deserve our eternal praise and admiration for a job well done.”

    The Premier said the electricity field crews often overcame difficult conditions to assist communities.

    “The men and women in our field crews worked in mud, torrential rain and around floodwaters and spent days away from their families to ensure communities could get their lights back on as soon as humanly possible,” she said.

    “Each member of the Ergon Energy, Energex and Essential Energy teams can hold their head up high because – along with emergency services – they did a fantastic job to assist communities in a large part of the state that had been hit hard by Mother Nature’s worst.” 

    Minister for Energy Mark Bailey said when Cyclone Debbie hit North Queensland she left behind about 650 damaged and broken power poles, including some main feeder line poles, with more than 800 power lines down in difficult to access areas. Several sub-stations were also damaged.

    “Three of Ergon’s Pegasus generators, which are specialized high voltage units, were brought in to provide large numbers of customers with power while these major repairs were undertaken,” Mr Bailey said.

    “Once Debbie headed into South-East Queensland, she continued to inflict significant damage on the electricity network cutting power to more than 200,000 homes and businesses by ripping down more than 1,700 overhead powerlines and inundating many parts of the underground network.

    “I would like to pay tribute to the people in communities right throughout Queensland who went without mains power for days, and in some cases weeks, due to the severe damage from Cyclone Debbie.

    “I was fortunate to witness the great work our electricity crews were doing first-hand, and I also saw how the people in these affected communities remained patient and pitched in to help each other through this natural disaster. 

    “There’s still a lot of recovery work to do throughout Queensland, but getting the electricity back on is always a major step in getting our affected communities back on their feet.”

    Media contacts:

    Minister’s office –Zoe Russell 0428 079 640;

    Energy Queensland – Justin Coomber 0437 472 442.