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Cup day power overload tripped Qld system

Two Brisbane Racing Club employees have been axed over the power outage which ruined Melbourne Cup festivities for punters at Eagle Farm.

The club’s cup function had no power for 90 minutes, forcing guests who remained to watch the big race on their phones.

The BRC is conducting an internal investigation into the fiasco, but two staff members, including a club manager, have been dismissed.

They have paid the price for the race meeting failing to continue because a back-up generator was not on line.

“Unfortunately, the BRC’s back-up generator was not in place yesterday to ensure the racing program could run to schedule,” the club said in a statement.

“This meant a delay in the race meeting on the nation’s busiest annual day of racing.”

Energex and Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey have blamed the club for the fiasco, saying it hadn’t informed Energex prior to their event.

“What we saw was a whole range of temporary load added in there, from refrigeration and air conditioning, so a lot greater load, which tripped the system,” Mr Bailey said.

An Energex spokeswoman said an “extremely large” amount of power was drawn in a rapid time frame.

While the BRC is working with Energex to find the exact cause, the club said Eagle Farm had a long history of Melbourne Cup Day race meetings with large crowds and had never before suffered such a power failure.

“Yesterday’s crowd figure was smaller – by several thousand – than Stradbroke Day in June,” the club said

Energex crews restored power about 75 minutes after the big race.

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