Underground Power Moves Ahead

Media Release 5 December 2007
Underground Power

At the November Ordinary Council Meeting the City of South Perth Council moved to accept the estimate of costs prepared for the State Undergrounding of Powerlines Project (SUPP) Como East project, meaning that work on the project can now progress.

The undergrounding of powerlines for the Como East project (bounded by Canning Highway, Kwinana Freeway, Manning Road, Goss Avenue, Henley Street, Bruce Street, Morrison Street and Thelma Street) has been a high priority of Council, but Western Power has delayed this project for some time due to a number of administrative process changes and variations to the detailed designs that needed to be undertaken by Western Power.

Initially announced in early 2004 as one of ten projects in Round Three of the SUPP with an expected commencement date in July 2006, the need for administrative changes became apparent during the delivery of earlier projects and for the program to remain economically sustainable changes were required.

Western Power has now advised the City of the final detailed budget enabling Council to
formally set the schedule of charges for the project, which are comprised of a network charge and a connection charge.

The State Government and Western Power are contributing 50% towards the cost of installing underground power to properties in the Como East area, while Council will be contributing the remaining 50%. The total anticipated project cost is $14.422M Property owners within the Como east precinct will be levied for the costs of undergrounding the power, with charges ranging from $3,490 for a typical residential home down to as little as $1025 for large strata titled properties with pensioner discounts.

The City will be offering a range of payment options to property owners in the Como East area, ranging from full upfront payment to various extended payment arrangements, in order that the City’s property owners can select which option suits them best.

In September 2006 a survey of affected property owners was conducted to gain feedback and determine support for the project. Over 83% of respondents were in support of the installation of underground power in their area, and 80% of respondents were in agreement with paying the service charge (identified in the report). City Mayor James Best he was pleased that the project would be commencing in the near future.

“The delays have been unfortunate but were necessary in order for project costs to be set at a sustainable level,” he said.

“Once completed, the underground power will enhance the City’s streets making them more attractive and safe, as well as contributing to increased property values and more reliable power supplies.

“History has shown that as a result of undergrounding power, the value of affected properties increases by a greater amount than the contribution cost.”

The project now has an expected commencement date in February 2008 and is expected to take a minimum of 12 months to complete. Subject to the availability of materials some initial works will occur in mid to late January. 

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