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The findings of a comprehensive independent investigation into a system-wide power outage in Alice Springs on 13 October have been released, accompanied by a government response and recommendations.

The investigation report outlines 15 recommendations to prevent similar incidents in the future and the government has accepted 14 recommendations in whole and 1 in-principle while further information is sought.

The independent investigation found that a number of key failures caused the system black event and delayed the restoration of power.

The failures are technical, complex and involve both equipment failure and human error.

The clear message from the independent investigation is that there was an unacceptably low level of preparedness by the Power and Water Corporation and Territory Generation.

Following receipt of the final independent investigation on 2 December, the Chairs of both the Territory Generation and Power and Water Corporation Boards were informed that the government no longer had confidence in the CEOs of the two corporations.

Subsequently, David Brown has been appointed by the Territory Generation Board of Directors as the Acting CEO while a recruitment process for a permanent CEO is undertaken.

“Hardworking Territorians, families and businesses deserve stable, reliable and affordable power,” Mr Brown said.

“The system-wide power outage that occurred on 13 October was simply unacceptable – the people of Alice Springs deserve much better.

“That’s why the government has acted swiftly and decisively to ensure similar incidents don’t occur again.”

Djuna Pollard has been appointed by the Power and Water Corporation Board of Directors as the Acting CEO while a recruitment process for a permanent CEO is undertaken.

Both organisations have received written instructions from Minister for Renewables, Energy and Essential Services, Dale Wakefield, to immediately begin the task of implementing the recommendations of the report.

The government will provide open and transparent progress reporting against the recommendations and has asked the Utilities Commission to complete and publish these reports.

“I want to thank the dedicated and hardworking staff of Territory Generation and Power and Water Corporation for their efforts to restore power after the system black event,” Mr Brown said.

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