Major blackout hits north-west Queensland, second outage in six months

A major power outage affected thousands of people in Queensland's north-west for the second time in six months.

Key points:A power outage affects residents in north-west QueenslandIssues at the Diamantina Power Station, which services the Mount Isa region, were cited as the cause for the blackoutErgon Energy said more than 10,000 customers were affected

Ergon Energy confirmed more than 10,000 customers were affected by a blackout that lasted for more than four hours on Wednesday afternoon.

The company said issues at the Diamantina Power Station, owned by the APA Group, were behind the outage.

"APA is currently experiencing an issue with the Diamantina Power Station complex in Mount Isa, which has caused an interruption to power supply," a statement from the company said.

"APA crews are working to identify the cause and restore power as quickly and safely as possible."

Traffic lights out at an intersection.
Traffic lights are out across the region.(ABC North West Queensland: Larissa Waterson)

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Businesses concerned

Mount Isa Pharmacy First owner Leigh Houldsworth said she was concerned about losing a significant amount of stock.

"Not only can't we serve our customers but we've got really high cost and essential items in our refrigerator that we can't transfer to the hospital due to their fridges being full," she said.

"We probably have close to $80,000 worth of stock we're desperately trying to save and it's stuff that's really difficult to get out here so if we lose it, it's really hard to replace."

She said some customers had brought in generators.

"We've transferred our COVID-19 vaccines to the hospital."

Sign outside shop saying "no power", "cash sales only".
Owners of Pharmacy First say they are concerned about losing stock because of the outage.(ABC North West Queensland: Julia Andre)

This is the second widespread power outage in the region, the area was left without electricity for five hours in April.

Member for Traeger Robbie Katter said the outage was a "big deal".

"This is enormously disruptive to businesses and households especially in a place like Mount Isa where it's hot as Hades. Think about all the schools and businesses that this is going to impact," he said.

"If you don't have power in a place like Mount Isa you're in trouble."

Barrier in front of petrol station to stop cars.
Petrol stations in Mount Isa were shut down due to the blackout.(ABC North West Queensland: Larissa Waterson)


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