In the midst of Christmas trading, Rosedale businesses have been angered by ongoing, scheduled power outages.
With no consultation prior to outage notifications, chamber of commerce treasurer Sparie Nassiokas said traders were frustrated and would lose a lot of money from closing their businesses.
“We understand they (Ausnet Services) need to do upgrades, but there was very little notification, with no kind of negotiation of what would work better for us,” Ms Nassiokas said.
“They’re scheduled from 8am to 3pm and they’re not fixed; if it goes over it goes over, but that’s our whole day’s trade.
“We work this time of year to allow for the quiet times at the other end, even though they might not see it as a big deal, it is to us.”
Consisting entirely of small businesses, Rosedale’s main street has been heavily promoted by residents and community groups with an array of events to boost the town’s profile.
“We’ve been working so hard as a community to get people to Rosedale, so at this time of the year if they can’t come here, they won’t come back,” Ms Nassiokas said.
At wit’s end with how to approach AusNet Services, Rosedale traders have approached Wellington Shire Council which is attempting to liaise with the company.
“The company has been so evasive, the shire can’t even get a name of someone they can talk to to negotiate a different time,” Ms Nassiokas said.
“They don’t give us a forward schedule, they just send us a letter for the next one.”
She told The Express both Rosedale’s tavern and butcher were concerned after they obtained quotes of more than $1000 for power generators for the scheduled outage days.
“The pub is one of the businesses that is most affected because they’ve got Christmas bookings solid right through Christmas,” Ms Nassiokas said.
“Then you’ve got businesses like the butcher who are working around the clock to get their hams ready. Where are they going to keep all of that stock?”
Ausnet Services spokesperson Jonathon Geddes said upcoming power outages were due to the ongoing replacement of 1.3 kilometres of high voltage powerlines which supply Rosedale.
“While there is never a convenient time to schedule an outage to safely work on the electricity network, it’s important that we upgrade these powerlines before the high risk summer period to reduce the likelihood of blackouts,” Mr Geddes said.
“This work was recently identified due to an increased demand in the area.
“Notification letters were sent last week, giving customers time to prepare.”
Mr Geddes apologised for the inconvenience and said the organisation would use more crews to complete the works approximately 1.5 hours earlier than scheduled.