Tropicana Estate resident Peter Ashmore shows Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey a petition against Ergon Energy’s substation plans with support from Jindy Samara and Katrina Ashmore and baby Kahn.
Tropicana Estate resident Peter Ashmore shows Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey a petition against Ergon Energy’s substation plans with support from Jindy Samara and Katrina Ashmore and baby Kahn. Ron Burgin

Substation for Avoca residents

THE Tropicana Estate area had been the perfect place for Peter and Katrina Ashmore until, at the end of November, they were told a power substation was to be built across from their home.

“Ergon Energy told us we could only consult on the vegetation and the colour,” Ms Ashmore said.

Eager to preserve their neighbourhood of seven years, Mr Ashmore put together a petition, gathering about 250 signatures from the Avoca area.

The Ashmores first heard about the plans for the station on the corner of Cummins Road and Doblo Street from a letter sent by Ergon Energy.

Since the letters went out, the proposal has caused great worry.

“The worst is the effect on residents’ health is unknown,” Ms Ashmore said.

Ms Ashmore runs a family day care centre from her home and, after the substation was announced, she said some parents told her they would be taking their children elsewhere when the station was built.

The unknown effect of living so close to the power station was not the only concern, with Ms Ashmore also worried about property value.

“We have spoken to independent property valuers who have said 15% of our property value is just gone,” she said.

Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey said he was appalled by the lack of communication Ergon Energy had with the community.

“The fact is they were given no other options or choices,” Mr Dempsey said.

Ergon Energy spokesperson Rod Rehbein said they were aware some residents had objections to the substation.

“We did go through a pretty rigorous process to approve the site which would have the least impact on the community,” he said.

Mr Rehbein said Ergon Energy was happy to consult with any resident who had concerns.



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