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1700 homes still without power almost a week after ‘cyclone-like’ storm

More than 1700 homes and businesses remain without power after a storm ravaged Sydney last Tuesday.

Ausgrid has restored power to more than 95 per cent of properties but are still working to get all the lights back on.

Some residents in Sydney’s north were told to find alternative accommodation after the “cyclone-style weather event” brought down thousands of trees and powerlines.

The Electrical Trades Union is blaming mass redundancies at Ausgrid in recent years for the ongoing blackouts.

NSW State Secretary Justin Page tells Alan Jones the outages could have been fixed faster if not for privatisation and budget cuts.

“Our workers are trying their best to get the power on but it’s frustrating.

“They don’t have the resources and labour to actually achieve that as they would have in the past.”

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Alan argues the energy companies can’t afford a fast fix to the blackouts due to a cap on profits enforced by the Australian Energy Regulator.

The Regulator has decided Ausgrid must refund customers $310 million over the next five years, after exceeding the $9.1-billion profit cap.

Independent expert from the Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis Bruce Robertson disagrees, saying energy companies have other ways to make higher profits without compromising on service.

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Ausgrid’s Chief Operating Officer Trevor Armstrong tells Steve Price there are more outages to come.

“The amount of branches that are still up in the trees after the storms of last Tuesday are starting to move around and causing a few more outages.”

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Image: Ausgrid

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