Robyn and Neil White of Kongwak returned home after a weekend away to find the power still off after five days and counting.


IT’S unbelievable! The power is still off at Neil White’s place at Kongwak.

And he’s not on his own.

At lunchtime on Wednesday, November 3, the Ausnet ‘Outage Tracker’ lists 21 people still without power in Kongwak, many of them near where Neil and Robyn White live.

But there’s many more besides; on Phillip Island, in the rural areas around Korumburra and Leongatha, around Mirboo North and in the hills north and east of Foster.

That’s more than five days since storm-force winds brought down more trees and powerlines after what has been a stormy winter and spring period in South Gippsland.

“The power went off at about 7am on Friday morning,” said Neil White this week.

“We were actually going away for the weekend, up to a 95th birthday at Swan Hill and we only got back on Wednesday.

“There was a load of washing in the front loader that didn’t finish the cycle and we can’t get the door open. It’s starting to get a bit smelly.”

That’s not the only thing getting smelly.

“Our daughter was coming over to feed the animals and was looking after things but we kept thinking the power would come back on anytime.

You don’t have to have a sense of humor but it certainly helps. Neil has rigged up a camp shower in the yard for after work or when he’s been for a run or ride.

“We had quite a lot of meat in the freezer but ultimately she had to take it out and cook it up. Anything else that’s still alright will go to the dogs.

“But we’ve lost a lot of food, definitely.

“We haven’t even got any water. The pump isn’t going.

“We can go out to the tank and get a bit of a trickle for a cup of tea but that’s it.

“They say we’ll be back on by 12 o’clock tonight but we’ve heard that before. They’ve changed that a few times.

“We’ve got the caravan in the shed so we’ll be able to use that but we’re still waiting.

“Like I said, you keep thinking it will come back on any minute but we’ve been thinking that for more than five days now.”

Neil says there’s no obvious sign of any lines being down, either locally at Kongwak, or on the way out from Korumburra.

“There’s a few of us here in the same boat still without power.”

How can that be, five days later? It’s just not good enough!!

Late on Wednesday, power was restored to most, if not all Ausnet customers, but there are still dozens of homes that are coming up for six days without electricity… is that good enough?