(OT) Australian heatwave/power update

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Victoria faces power cuts
From AAP

1.00pm (AEDT) POWER cuts today began at 1pm (AEDT) in Victoria, with the Alcoa aluminium smelter at Portland in the south-west the first to be hit as the state's temperatures continue to rise.

The State Government has confirmed the electricity cuts will last for about an hour and will be rotated around the state. Acting premier John Thwaites said there would be no warning on when the power cuts hit.

Mr Thwaites said the power blackouts will continue until about 7pm tonight but he warns that with ongoing hot weather cuts could last into next week.

He said in most cases, cuts to supplies would last only about one hour.

The National Electricity Market Management Company said in a statement that the demand for electricity in Victoria and South Australia today will outstrip the supply.

Both states are experiencing extra demand on electricity due to extreme heat.

The situation has been exacerbated by the power workers dispute at Yallourn, in south-eastern Victoria.


This updates an earlier post on this forum.

Regards from a hot OZ

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), February 02, 2000


I don't mean this as bad, but didn't people do without airconditioning when your land was as settled. You know, I think we are all becoming weak. We didn't have electric power when I was young, and it could be very hot and dry. WE managed, didn't die, cooled owerselves in creeks, water anywhere we found it.

-- ET (bneville@zebra.net), February 03, 2000.

Rotating brown-outs. One of the Y2K consequences forecast for this year. But there are so many other complicating factors -- obviously peak summer usage, and the strike as you said. Pieter, have you experienced anything similar in other years? Thanks for the update, and thanks for posting us on the ongoing saga of the avgas contamination.


-- Squirrel Hunter (nuts@upina.cellrelaytower), February 03, 2000.

Squirrel Poacher :o),

Newsflash! "Adelaide in the dark right now". Total blackout. Traffic lights out over city. Banks cannot dispense cash. No consumer or business was uneffected. Power rationing in force. Supply not able to meet demand. Typing this as news relayed via local TV news. State treasurer interviewed now. Says Victoria is not coping and living in hope. No guarantees for tomorrow. Looking to bring power through riverland from New South Wales....blah blah...

Thanks for the enquiry and I'll give a brief overview here. The Victorian power utilities are sold to pay for state debt and the new (British?) owners are consolidating their interests, much to the chagrin of the unions who flex their collective muscle now that a Labor Government is returned. With natural attrition without replacement and other pragmatic labor consolidation means little attention to rural infrastructure re power.

South Australia has just sold power utility to Hong Kong syndicates. Will table news update shortly...

Regards from OZ where it's hot!!!

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), February 03, 2000.

Squirrel Hunter et al,

Now 1+ hour later following ABC SA State news. Seems that Torrens Island Power Station suffered major technical hiccup. Yallourn Valley Power Stations down. They usually supply 20% of South Australian needs. Interconnectors down forcing rolling rotational rationing right across metropolitan Adelaide. (I am in country and on another circuit). Load sharing in force now and as from tomorrow morning likely to be Statewide. This was announced by State Treasurer, Rob Lucas (I went to school with this bloke, hehe).

In order for you to understand the magnitude of all this, the ABC Seventhirty news analysis program is making the issue number one coverage. Will be interesting to watch...

Threat of massive damages claim re blackout by business pursued. Visual footage of blackended super markets and huge bank serving counter lineups. No traffic lights visual too.

Mention was made of technical problems as well, outside union actions. Will be interesting to read tomorrows papers and shall post links if possible - might be out as well. It's hotter tomorrow. Don't mind the heat that much. Just can't stomach the buck-passing. Politicians and officialdom will not be forgiven so easily this time around..., but they cannot be told...so goes it with us today.

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), February 03, 2000.

Squirrel Man,

Just a brief follow-on. Todays circumstances bring together a series of events not seen before. I cannot recall serious thread to our quality of life quite like this now.

The factors are many, including the new enterprise bargaining agreements, erosion of workplace conditions, and ownership by multi-national corporation of vital infrastructure with their counter-thread to take shareholders funds off-shore.

Toss in technical difficulties at many power stations and wobbly interstate systems, and you get a bubbling mix of discontent across the board. There is anger in rural Australia with the Prime Minister getting quite an earbashing today.

Regarding the swimming holes etc. This is extreme fire-season without any water in the usual holes. I've never seen this place so vulnerable and it reminds me of 1983 but differently somehow. We had much more water then though. Tense days ahead. I wonder if all the fire fighting planes are cleared of their Avgas gunk....hmmmm

Regards from OZ

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), February 03, 2000.

Peak-hour traffic in 40 degree heat with half the traffic lights out was "fun."

-- number six (iam_not_a_number@hotmail.com), February 03, 2000.

Thanks, Pieter and number six. Please keep us posted.

-- Rachel Gibson (rgibson@hotmail.com), February 03, 2000.

Thanks, guys. Those of us in the northern hemisphere are wondering if this is what we will face come July.

-- Brooks (brooksbie@hotmail.com), February 03, 2000.

All that while I slept!!!! Proof that you really are a hemisphere away. "Leafyspurge" posted a wire service update 10-15 threads up, but I do prefer your firsthand perpsective. Thanks.


-- Squirrel Hunter (nuts@upina.cellrelaytower), February 03, 2000.

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