- Here are a few snippets of information relating to the electricity supply in Landsborough Shire.
The City Electric Light Company Ltd. (CEL) was granted an extension of its franchise in 1936. Maleny received its first reticulated supply in 1940. The early Butter Factory, the saw mill and the hotel in Maleny used electricity from the installed industrial generating plant at each site before a
reticulated supply was available.
A Construction Gang, commonly called a ‘Con Gang’ in the electricity industry, camped in the Maleny Show Grounds while erecting the 33,000 volt transmission line from Woodford to Nambour. A 33,000/240 volt transformer was positioned on a two-pole sub-station outside the Maleny Butter Factory. It was the first electric transformer station on CEL’s North Coast feeder.
Maleny Electricity Depot
Land for an electricity sub-station was bought for one hundred pounds in 1940. Another resident sold a garage and property to CEL in 1949 for use as an office and Depot. The old Depot continued to be used until the Southern Electric Authority (SEA), which succeeded CEL in 1953, built a new Depot complex on the site in 1973. The new depot cost of $96,000.
SEA’s new Maleny Depot, on the corner of Bunya and Cudgerie Streets was officially opened on 22 June 1973. The region attended by the new Maleny Depot stretched east to the main railway line, west to the top of the range, south as far as Beerburrum and north to the Maroochy Shire border. Around 1,750 customers were served by the Depot, although the actual number of people who benefited from the reticulated supply to the area was much higher.
During preparations for the Opening Ceremony, it was suggested that the opening was timed for 2.15 pm. The reason for the earlier time was that some of the guests and afternoon tea helpers would be involved in milking operations. The official opening was performed by Mr MJ Ahern, MLA for Landsborough. More than 100 official attended the Opening Ceremony, including the Chairman of Landsborough Shire Council, Councillor J Beausang.
At the Opening Ceremony, Councillor J. Beausang spoke of the impact that electricity had on every-day life:
‘Electric power has spread its mantle over city and country
to play a vital role in the economic development of our state.
Electricity has undoubtedly taken the drudgery out of many
tasks on the farm and in the home. It saves us time and labour
and increases productivity and thus our standard of living’.
The Chairman of the SEA, Mr. I. Davies, acknowledged the concern of many people regarding the environmental impact of transmission lines in rural and rainforest areas. He stated that an Environmental Commission for Transmission Works had been established to investigate appropriate methods to site, design and construct transmission lines and sub-stations. The aim of the Commission, he emphasised, was to minimise adverse environmental impact.
(Sources : City Electric Light Co Annual Reports and the Nambour Chronicle 28 June 1973.)