Billy McKenzie and Keith Simmons are helping to organise a reunion for past and present workers at the Tarong Power Station. Both men moved to the region to work on the station's construction and they're still here 35 years later.
Billy McKenzie and Keith Simmons are helping to organise a reunion for past and present workers at the Tarong Power Station. Both men moved to the region to work on the station's construction and they're still here 35 years later. Michael Nolan

Hundreds to meet for power station reunion

ON MARCH 17 hundreds of past and present workers from the Tarong Power Station will meet at the Nanango Showgrounds for a 35-year reunion.

It's open to all past and present staff along with their families, and any contractors who worked on the site over the years.

This includes during its construction.

Keith Simmons and Billy McKenzie are two of the men helping to organise the event.

Both men moved to the area when the power station was built and they are still here decades later.

"It's an opportunity to get together and see other faces again," Mr McKenzie said.

Over the years thousands of men and women have worked on the site.

The biggest numbers were during construction.

"At its peak there was supposed to be about 2500 people just on the construction," Mr McKenzie said.

"The (number of) people from the power station itself that have come and gone over the years is just unbelievable.

"Just in the area that I worked, the mechanical apprentices numbered about 60 by the time I'd left."

All these people left their mark on the region.

Some stayed and started families and others moved to the area for a short time, bringing essential skills to their tasks at Tarong.

Mr Simmons reckons the community owes a lot to the power station.

"If the power station didn't go out there when Joh (Bjelke-Petersen) was alive, and he was the instigator, the South Burnett probably wouldn't be what it is today," Mr Simmons said.

During construction the region was inundated with workers.

Three caravan parks were set up in Nanango, two of which are still in operation today.

The reunion will run from 10am-10pm on March 17 at the Nanango Showgrounds.

The organisers want interested parties to RSVP by March 3 for catering.

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