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Tuesday, 20 November 1973
Page: 1898

Senator McLAREN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I direct my question to the Minister representing the Minister for Works. Is it a fact that the Stokes Hill power station at Darwin is still being repaired and that full generating capacity still is not available to the people of that city? Is the Minister aware that despite all emergency diesel plants being put into use there are still substantial area disconnections to Darwin and its suburbs which means extreme discomfort because of Darwin's climate? Can the Minister tell the Senate how long it will be before full power can be supplied to Darwin residents and what steps are being undertaken by the Department of Works to ensure that this is being done with all possible urgency?

Senator CAVANAGH -AU I have on this matter is a Press statement dated 15 November issued by the Minister for Works. It is true that at the present time, through I believe the breakdown of 2 generators, it is possible to meet only 75 per cent of the electricity requirements of Darwin. Efforts are being made to overcome the problem. A Swedish engineer is being brought out to try to hurry up the repair work. It is thought that by getting a 16-egawatt generator into operation it will be possible to meet all loads by the end of next week. In an effort to overcome this problem we have sought to obtain a 126-ton gas turbine generator from Tasmania but it has to be broken down to modules of 33 tons or 38 tons in order for it to be taken onto aircraft. Efforts have been made even to the extent of endeavouring to get an American plane to help us out. It is hoped to break this generator down to modules of between 33 tons and 38 tons. If necessary it will be sent by ship to Darwin. It is hoped that by the end of next week we will be able to overcome the crisis that has developed in Darwin.

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