Big4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort owner Greg McKinnon said power outages came as another blow to tourism operators after months of struggling through the pandemic.
Big4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort owner Greg McKinnon said power outages came as another blow to tourism operators after months of struggling through the pandemic.

Repeat power outages sparks anger from tourists

Widespread power outages across the region have left tourists demanding refunds, adding further frustration to a devastating year for Whitsunday tourism.

More than 5600 residents lost power on Wednesday night with hotels, restaurants and houses from Airlie Beach to Strathdickie affected.

The outage came less than 24 hours after another major power cut on Tuesday night.

Big4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort owner Greg McKinnon said the outages were another blow to tourism operators after months of struggling through the pandemic.

Power cut out at the resort at 5.30pm on Wednesday and was not restored until 4am on Thursday.

“It just ruins the reputation not only of ourselves but of the town,” he said.

“You don’t want people to say, ‘Look, let’s not go to Airlie. They don’t have enough power to service their tourists’.

“In today’s society, this sort of thing should never happen.”

The park is currently at full capacity and Mr McKinnon said he had been inundated with complaints.

“We’ve had a stack of guests that have come up wanting refunds and wanting answers and reasons why,” he said.

“From a business point of view, if it keeps going tonight or tomorrow it will absolutely murder us.”

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Mr McKinnon said using generators would be difficult for such a large resort, adding that he had not seen a power outage of this size since Cyclone Debbie.

“We don’t have the capacity to put a generator in to fix that issue once every three years,” he said.

An Ergon Energy spokesman said the outages were caused by a recurring fault at the Cannonvale substation.

“Crews worked overnight to get power back onto customers and the equipment that has the fault is being repaired,” he said.

“We have some emergency mobile generation being put in place as a backup while the repair work to the substation equipment is carried out.

“Ergon Energy apologises for the inconvenience this has caused for our customers during this holiday period.”


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