1970’s Electric Memories
1971: Power plant stopped working
The New Farm, Abermain and Tennyson packing plants were decommissioned in 1971.
1971: Changes to Longreach Power Plant
Coal gas was replaced by diesel at the Longreach Powerhouse in 1971. The changes were mainly due to the increased electricity demand for the town and the expansion of the rural network. Production costs increased sharply after 1974.
1972: Microwave tower half a million dollars
SEA has put into operation ‘the most advanced communication system ever used by Queensland’s electricity supply’. Apart from the system operated by the General Post Office, the microwave system is considered the only one in Queensland. Microwave technology provides communication links between SEA’s key generation and transmission system.
The tower sits atop Gravatt Mountain and is 117 feet tall. It was an implementation team and many SEA staff members were involved in the design of the tower and its operation. The resulting design was judged to be so striking and aesthetically pleasing that it is now illuminated at night, says SEA. 1973 Women’s fashion SEA Women at SEA headquarters in Brisbane wear ‘long pants’ after new SEA regulations allow wearing of clothes in the workplace.
Comments such as ‘I prefer the mini’ and ‘They’ll take over’ were heard from the men-managed tables in the Ann Street canteen on the first day the women wore trousers to work. job.
1973: The sea builds a bridge
A large road bridge has been designed and built by SEA over a tributary of the Caliope River near Gladstone Power Station. The bridge is a continuous steel girder construction and is 280 feet long. It was necessary to get trucks carrying workers, equipment, and materials to an island of mostly mangroves. Six platforms have been built on the island to receive power transmission towers from Gladstone Power Station. The only way to cross the river before the bridge was built was by boat.
1973: Nudists and Men SEA
A letter sent to the editor of SEA News by the “Boonah Boys”. It was signed by Miss Fifi, who runs the girls’ outdoor nudist camp.
I would like to express my sincere thanks for the excellent service your online agents provided last summer. We learned that transformers are special, dusting twice a day, oiling once a week, tightening bolts every ten days, stopping every morning and afternoon and spending 15 minutes to cleaning…
Your team is always very dedicated in repairing. In one, a crossbar broke on a pole next to a tennis court, where some girls were playing tennis. Nine men with three ladder trucks worked four hours to repair the crossbar.
Obviously we have a special type of clock near the pool. The meter reader tells us that it takes two men to read it twice a week for an accurate average power to be calculated. One of your watch readers is pretty clumsy because last summer he came across two lawn chairs, a picnic table, and a trash can while walking to check his watch.
I’m guaranteed that all the men will be back to work this summer… Last summer, two men gave up their vacation just to make sure electrical appliances were working properly.
1974: Modern lighting enhances the church
The SEA’s Chief Lighting Engineer was approached to design the lighting ‘for one of Queensland’s most impressive cathedrals – St. Patrick’s at Toowoomba.
1976/1977: Reorganisation of the Electricity Supply Industry
industry bodies to come into operation on 1 July, 1977. Queensland’s
generating facilities were placed under the auspices of a new body, the Queensland Electricity Generating Board (QEGB). The Northern Electric Authority ceased to exist. Two new electricity boards for the South East and South West of the State came into being. The South East Queensland Electricity Board (SEQEB) took over from the Southern Electric Authority, and the South West Queensland Electricity Board (SWQEB) became the electricity authority for the South West with its base at Dalby. The other five electricity boards, making seven in all, were the Wide Bay-Burnett Electricity Board (WBBEB) based at Maryborough, Capricornia Electricity Board, based at Rockhampton, Mackay Electricity Board (MEB) in Mackay, North Queensland Electricity Board (NQEB) based in Townsville and the Far North Queensland Electricity Board (FNQEB) in Cairns. It was the responsibility of the electricity boards to distribute electricity to the final users, with extension of responsibility to allow appliance trading, repairs, consumer advisory services and promotion of the safe and efficient use of electricity.
The Electricity Act passed by the Queensland Parliament late in 1976 provides for the most far-reaching changes yet in the industry’s organisation, marking the start of a new phase in the provision of electricity to serve the people of Queensland.