Regular blackouts frustrate traders

Apollo Bay Bakery’s Jane Johnstone and Sally Cannon are among Bay traders concerned with erratic power supply impacting trade. Powercor has suggested new safety technology is to blame.

Apollo Bay retailers say a new technology designed to prevent bushfires is causing power problems and hurting trade, leading to Powercor shutting off the device temporarily.

Now the community wants the power distributor to come to the Bay and talk to businesses about how to manage in the meantime.

Power outages at the Bay yesterday followed a blackout during lunchtime on Thursday, and Apollo Bay Bakery owner Sally Cannon said there had been at least five blackouts in the past two months.

“We lost an hour’s trade in our peak time between 11.30am and 12.30pm (on Thursday),” she said.

“You send staff home and then the power comes back on; if we lose a fridge, we have to put that back on the power company and the insurance company.”

Fish and chip shop owner Stephen Vassiliou said the blackouts and brownouts, when power dimmed, could play havoc with kitchen and storage equipment and create problems with the computer system.

“We can’t get a generator because it’s not worth it to outlay $10,000 to $15,000,” Mr Vassiliou said.

“In winter the food can keep. But in summertime we have to throw everything out if it lasts too long.

See today’s Colac Herald for more.

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