Work is set to begin on a new $5.2 million Ergon depot that will support up to 30 jobs in the Whitsunday region.
Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said Queensland company Newlands Commercial Constructions would start work on the new Whitsunday Coast depot at Cannonvale in April.
“The new development on Galbraith Park Drive will generate work for the local construction industry and put Ergon Energy field crews closer to the central business district, main tourism precinct and residential areas,” Dr Lynham said.
“Newlands has committed to hiring local contractors for the project, which should take around eight months to complete.”
The Whitsunday Coast depot will be a base for 25 staff, including apprentices.
The Cannonvale building will replace the ageing Proserpine depot, which was badly damaged by severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie three years ago.
It will be a new permanent base for Ergon Energy staff, who have been working out of temporary accommodation since 2017.
Dr Lynham said Cannonvale was a strategic location for field crews who serve customers across the region, from Proserpine, halfway to Bowen and out to the Whitsunday Islands.
“Field crews will be based closer to densely-populated areas for the most efficient response to any unplanned outages,” he said.
“The sooner crews can find network faults, the quicker they can fix them and get the power back on.
“They’ll continue to store poles and wires at the Proserpine site, which can also be used as an alternative staging area when Ergon Energy is responding to one of the North’s severe weather events.
“Ergon always aims for efficiency because they know electricity is the lifeblood of the community.”
Dr Lynham said the new Whitsunday Coast depot would include office space, a workshop and improved access for heavy vehicles.
“Ergon’s new home base will also have vehicle wash down facilities, which are obviously important when you’re working in farming areas with biosecurity risks,” he said.
Queensland’s publicly-owned electricity companies – Powerlink, Ergon Energy, Energex, CS Energy, Stanwell Corp and CleanCo, will invest more than $2.2 billion on capital works in 2019-20, supporting up to 4900 jobs.