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.
“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.”
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.