Power must get through
By UTE SCHULENBERG
IT SEEMS nothing will prevent Country Energy getting power to the burgeoning suburbs north of Coffs Harbour ? not even a highway.
At Sapphire residents were surprised to see new power poles being erected along what they believed was the RTA's preferred highway route.
Resident Brian Read, whose house sits right on top of the proposed route and is being reclaimed by the RTA, described the poles as a waste of taxpayers' money.
"Those poles are right on the drop-off ? it's crazy," Mr Read said.
Andrew Latta, Country Energy's regional general manager, said there was still some uncertainty about the route of the highway upgrade.
"Which is why we have installed timber poles along this section of the line," Mr Latta said.
"From here south all the poles are concrete, which is much more expensive and much more permanent.
"Timber poles are relocatable and also reusable."
He said the powerline design for the northern suburbs had been completed some six years ago and improving the reliability of supply was of paramount importance.
"The timber poles have a 20-year lifespan and if there are no significant changes to the line, they will not need to be moved."
He said concrete poles were being used more often because 25-metre timber poles were an increasingly scarce resource.