PowerWater, Territory Generation CEOs sacked



Tim Duignan, CEO of Territory Generation, and Michael Thomson, CEO of Power Water Corporation, have been sacked in the wake of the system-wide power outage in Alice Springs on October 13.

Dale Wakefield (pictured), Minister for Renewables, Energy and Essential Services said in a media release this morning that an independent investigation had found “that a number of key failures caused the system black event and delayed the restoration of power.
“The failures are technical, complex and involve both equipment failure and human error.
“The clear message from the independent investigation is that there was an unacceptably low level of preparedness by the Power and Water Corporation and Territory Generation.”
Minister Wakefield says following receipt of the Utilities Commission report on December 2, “the chairs of both the Territory Generation and Power and Water Corporation boards were informed that the Government no longer had confidence in the CEOs of the two corporations”.
Independent Member for Araluen, Robyn Lambley, and the Electrical Trades Union had earlier demanded that heads should roll.
The investigation report outlines 15 recommendations to prevent similar incidents in the future, says Minister Wakefield.
Tim Duignan
“The Government has accepted 14 recommendations in whole and one in-principle while further information is sought.
“Both organisations received written instructions from Minister Wakefield last week to immediately begin the task of implementing the recommendations of the report.
“The Government will provide open and transparent progress reporting against the recommendations and has asked the Utilities Commission to complete and publish these reports.”
UPDATE 15.45pm
The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) says it welcomes the report and the NT Government’s commitment to implement 14 of the 15 recommendations with the final one also agreed in principle.
State Secretary Peter Ong says while the report vindicates the ETU and its members’ stance, the workers are left to pick up the pieces following high-level managerial incompetence: “The job is only half done.”
“This is a massive opportunity for TGen, Power Water, the Utilities Commission and the NT Government to rebuild trust and confidence in them to provide reliable power to Alice Springs.
“To do that, they will need to listen to their most valuable resources, the proud, competent workers, our members who are at the frontline keeping the power on,” says Mr Ong.


  1. Power outage happens Australia-wide in hot weather.
    The heads should roll? But a good boss always takes the blame for his/her employees’ failures.
    They are often the result of bad leadership, and passing the blame onto those beneath them is not only misplaced, but discouraging.
    Leaders pass the credit and take the blame.
    What a pity we cannot sack the whole government for poor performance.

  2. The power outages are almost a pleasant change of discussion for the minister given that her other departmental responsibilities of the town’s youths are completely outside of her competency.

  3. @ Evelyne Roullet (Posted December 9, 2019 at 11:47 am): Yes, we can sack the government but we just have to wait patiently for the NT elections in August next year.
    I think there’s more than a few of us willing to wield lethal pencils on the ballot papers.

  4. This atypical of a government that is bereft of any ideas of their own and without shooting the messenger.
    Where is the Clayton’s Minister for Climate Change in all of this? s
    Surely, if you were going to target 50% renewables by when? You would have checked to see if the grid was up to it first?
    Two heads should role and they should both be ministers in this failed social engineering experiment by the Gunner Government, you just can’t trust Labor to get anything right.

  5. @ Evelyne: We can sack the whole government Evelyne, at the next election. Depends if people can weigh up the good things versus the bad.
    Unsure if sacking the TGen and PWC head honchos will keep our power on though, but miracles do happen, they tell me.

  6. Around about paragraph 10 of this story mentions the NT Government providing open and transparent progress report.
    Open and transparent this government has never been, as promised they would. Election time looking good.


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