A $4.85 million Ergon Energy project has seen the powerlines go underground to keep the lights on at Queensland’s Whitsunday islands following the destruction of Tropical Cyclone Debbie.
Underground feeders have replaced overheard power conductors connecting to the submarine cables which supply power to Hayman, Hamilton, Daydream and South Molle Islands.
Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said tourism operators in the area would benefit from a more resilient network the next time wild weather hit.
“The overhead network has been damaged by cyclones, and is also at risk from bushfires,” Mr Lynham said.
“This will significantly reduce Ergon Energy’s maintenance costs and also cut the need for costly diesel generation for island resorts.”
The line route runs through Conway National Park, near Shute Harbour, so environmental protection was a priority for the project team.
“Access was a challenge for construction crews, who had to work along the existing narrow, steep, rocky and winding easement,” Dr Lynham said.
“Our contractors Zinfra did a great job on the installation while maintaining supply, ensuring the safety of workers and minimising their impact on a sensitive area.”
While Hamilton Island is open for business, Daydream Island, Hayman Island and South Molle remain closed for redevelopment in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Debbie.