Power outage anger

Curly and George hairdressing owner Lori Leskie and Newborough Hotel owner Shane McMahon were out of pocket over a planned power outage on Thursday.
photograph hayley mills

Curly and George hairdressing owner Lori Leskie and Newborough Hotel owner Shane McMahon were out of pocket over a planned power outage on Thursday. photograph hayley mills

Newborough business owners impacted by a day-long power outage on Rutherglen Road are fuming over the loss of turnover on a busy trading day and some are seeking compensation.

Businesses had to shut shop on Thursday between 9am and 4.30pm after Ausnet carried out works in Balfour Street, to replace a power pole which affected 86 residents and businesses.

Rutherglen Road hairdresser Lori Leskie said the outage was on her busiest trading day of the week.

She said she called Ausnet and asked them to switch the works to a Sunday or Monday after she received notification of the works.

"We took over the business eight weeks ago and we definitely can't afford a day being closed. Thursday is the day that pays our wages - it's a third of our weekly takings," Ms Leskie said.

"I still had to pay the wages of a full-time employee. My clients book in a month in advance."

Ms Leskie estimated she lost about $1000 in turnover and said she would lodge a claim for compensation.

"Yesterday, the street looked like a ghost town, even at 3.30pm. This turns people away, it's not a good look," she said.

Rutherglen Road pharmacist Luke Prust is also chasing a claim from Ausnet over the disruption after 100 customers could not get their prescriptions filled.

"If the energy company wants to do this on a weekday, they can either buy me a generator, or pay me thousands of dollars in compensation. They could've done this on a non-trading day," Mr Prust said.

The outage also meant some medications had to be taken to another pharmacy to be refrigerated for the day.

An Ausnet spokesman understood the works affected Newborough businesses and apologised for the inconvenience. He said network configuration meant the works could not be completed live.

"It is relatively unusual for works affecting commercial customers to be undertaken on Thursday," he said.

"We are well aware of the potential inconvenience of planned outages for customers and generally seek to minimise the impact of network maintenance work on customers."

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