By Carol Saffer
and we thank
Put the bed-socks on and stay in bed with an extra blanket as Powercor plans to flick off the power for a whopping seven hours, in the middle of winter.
A total power outage impacting the entire Ballan town centre and surrounding areas between 8.00am to 3.00pm is scheduled for Sunday 15 July.
Ballan residents and some local businesses received an ‘interruption to your electricity supply’ advice notice from Powercor by mail.
Located on Inglis Street, Zest Café owner Lisa Vella received Powercor’s notification in the mail on Tuesday 5 July, a few hours before she spoke with The Moorabool News.
As Sunday is one of her best trading days Ms Vella said she is very, very angry.
“I will lose a whole day’s trade while the five staff normally rostered on will lose their days wages as I have to close the business.”
Ms Vella said she particularly finds it frustrating that the Powercor letter mentions the possibility that the outage times are not exact, and there is a possibility that the works may be cancelled.
On June 27 Powercor informed a ‘major key business’ of their needs to undertake powerline works in Ballan to install REFCL Bushfire prevention equipment. These works are part of the recommendations to come out of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission. The letter sent to residents failed to advise of the same needs.
The Moorabool News further discovered Powercor advised the same ‘major key business’ on July 5 of the ‘assignment of more crews’ to the works in Ballan, “so we can reduce the outage down to 4 hours from 8am-12pm.”
“Following feedback, we have reduced the outage time by three hours in some areas,” a Powercor spokeswoman told The Moorabool News on Friday 6 July.
According to Powercor, the outage on Sunday 15 July from 8am to 12 noon will affect 1150 customers while 400 customers will continue without power until 3pm.
When The Moorabool News asked how they will communicate the sudden changes to Ballan residents and businesses the spokeswoman responded, “we will contact customers about the change in times over the coming days.”
“We understand outages are inconvenient and we thank customers for their understanding while our crews work to improve the safety of the network,” the spokeswoman said.
At the time of going to print the forecast weather temperature for Ballan on Sunday 15 July is an overnight low of 1 degrees with the mercury slowly climbing to a top temperature of just 11 degrees.