South Perth MLA John McGrath has accused the Carpenter Government of feeding misleading propaganda to the people of Western Australia with regard to underground power.
“This Government would have us believe that underground power is being rolled out all across the metropolitan area … well it certainly is not the case in my electorate of South Perth,” Mr McGrath said.
“I started campaigning for more underground power back in 2004 and only now are we going to see another part of Como get the service. That still leaves large parts of my electorate with unsightly power lines and beautiful trees that have been mutilated.
“While the Carpenter Government was basking in its self glory about its recent announcement, in my electorate parts of South Perth, Kensington, Como, Manning, Salter Point, East Victoria Park and a small part of Bentley are yet to be connected to underground power.
“Kensington, in particular, has been affected by brown-outs, pole-top fires and there have been incidents where trucks have made contact with low hanging over-head powerlines. This is an issue of not only providing a more reliable energy service, it is about the safety of people living in my electorate.”
Mr McGrath said Kensington residents had informed him recently of a tree splitting as a result of continual pruning. I am told a large limb crashed onto the street verge and it was fortunate that a child wasn’t standing under it.”
In an announcement on May 16, Energy Minister Francis Logan announced that 350,000 properties in the Perth metropolitan area were now serviced by underground power and the number of households and businesses with retrospective underground power connections had topped 60,000.
Mr McGrath said at was sheer arrogance on the Minister’s behalf to brag about its performance on underground power.
“In 1996 the Court coalition Government introduced the Underground Power Program to retrospectively replace overhead powerlines with underground systems,” he said.
“However, the program was wound back when the Gallop Labor Government came to power in 2001.”
Mr McGrath said if the Carpenter Government had been serious about providing metropolitan Perth with a more reliable power supply it would have allocated more than $28 million to underground power in the 2008-09 budget.