Speed Up Underground Power, says Mr McGrath

A program by Western Power to upgrade overhead service connections in a part of South Perth has prompted South Perth MLA John McGrath to call on the Liberal/National Government to expedite the underground power program that was cut back under Labor.

Mr McGrath said he had been contacted by a resident of the civic ward of the City of South Perth, who has been advised by Western Power that there is a need to upgrade some of the overhead service connections.

These had been identified through an inspection by Western Power as requiring replacement.

“The resident has been told the work is necessary to improve the safety, quality and integrity of the service connection, thus improving supply reliability,” Mr McGrath said.

“Western Power has offered the resident the option of having his overhead service connection replaced by an underground service from a new steel pole on his property.

“He has been told that this will require him to install underground consumer mains from a green pillar unit to his meter box at a subsidized cost of $750.”

Mr McGrath said he was concerned that residents who accept this option would save little on the cost of total undergrounding at a later date.

Mr McGrath said he had written to the Minister for Energy Peter Collier questioning the patch up of the service when full underground power was the best option.

“Unless a dangerous situation has been identified, it doesn’t make sense to patch up an overhead service connection that will all be replaced when underground power goes through,” he said.

Mr McGrath said he had asked the Minister to confirm whether the interim upgrade would proceed and to advise him of a time frame for the completion of the total underground power program for those parts of the South Perth electorate not yet serviced.

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