Moonlight was the only light falling on the floating pontoon last night after Ergon shut off the power.
Moonlight was the only light falling on the floating pontoon last night after Ergon shut off the power. Allan Reinikka

Powerless pontoon in darkness

IT EXTENDS 30 metres out onto The Fitzroy River, has been covered in darkness at night for three weeks, and some say it's a place where an injury or death is waiting to happen.

The floating pontoon off Quay Street has been a no-go zone after-hours due to the lights at the nearby riverside car park being out – all because someone hasn't paid the bill.

Yesterday, Ergon Energy's corporate communications manager Bob Pleash confirmed the electricity provider had cut power to the lights near the floating structure.

The State Government's Department of Public Works owns the pontoon, but is in the process of handing responsibility for its upkeep and maintenance to the Rockhampton Regional Council.

The department yesterday said, in a brief written statement, that it was aware of the situation and payment to Ergon was being processed.

However, when asked why the bill hadn't been paid and gone undetected for so long, the department declined to comment.

When The Morning Bulletin further asked the department if it would take responsibility if someone was injured or killed near or on the pontoon structure, it also declined to respond.

Mr Pleash said Ergon would take no responsibility if such a thing happened.

“Once the ‘Application for Supply' has been made, and we receive this, the power will be restored as quickly as possible to the facility,” he said.

“Power cannot be reinstated to anywhere unless an Application of Supply has been made.”

Member for Rockhampton Robert Schwarten said the unlit pontoon, used by local fishermen, was a safety hazard and could become dangerous to use at night.

“Whatever the reason for these lights not being on is not good enough, the lights are there for a reason,” he said.




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