Underground Power in Salter Point

Media Response 10 June 2011
Please attribute the following comments to City of South Perth Mayor James Best:

When will the underground power works commence and finish?

The Salter Point project is anticipated to start in August 2011. The duration of works is expected to be less than 12 months. The most likely completion date would be late July 2012.

What areas of Salter Point does it include?
The Salter Point UGP area includes all the suburb of Salter Point from Hope Avenue / Roebuck Drive south to Salter Point Drive on the Canning River edge, and a small area within Manning bounded by Challenger Avenue, Manning Road and Elderfield Road.

Who is carrying out the works? (Western Power?)

The State Undergrounding of Powerlines Program (SUPP) is overseen by a
Committee of three representing the partners to the program – Office of Energy, Western Power and Local Government. The project is managed by the SUPP project team, which comprises seconded officers from Western Power with all works including design undertaken by contract.

Once the design is completed, the various activities of drilling and cable hauling and switch over, household connections, street lighting installation and removal of the overhead network are all undertaken by separate contractors.

What percentage of the cost will the ratepayer have to pay for the works?
Participating local governments in the SUPP program are required to contribute 50 percent of the project cost. With the exception of some administration costs, all of the Cities’ share will be met by the property owners within the area. It is the property owners within the area that obtain the direct benefit of more reliable power supply, improved street amenity and invariably higher resale values for the properties.

What dollar figure does that amount to?
As part of the assessment process, the Office of Energy surveyed (by mail) every property owner within the submitted project area to gauge community support. In the survey document the average value to each household was suggested as approximately $4300. Being an average, some property owners are likely to be higher than this. The Service Charge has not been set by Council and cannot until the City receives a firm estimate of the works.

What is the dollar costing of the whole project in Salter Point?

Aspects of the design are still not completed and until that time a firm estimate cannot be provided. The project cost is expected to be $10.8 million.

Why did the City want to have its power undergrounded?
In the late 80s and before the major storm of 1994, which affected power supply throughout the metropolitan area with prolonged outages in Como Beach area, the southern areas of Como and through Manning and Salter Point, the residents of South Perth had indicated a desire for and had obtained the support of Council to undergrounding of powerlines as primarily a street enhancement program. It was seen as the means to overcome the routine and sometimes unsightly pruning of street trees and the opportunity to plant and allow larger species of trees within the road reserve.

It was also prompted by the appearance of the new suburbs of Karawara and Waterford that had been developed with an underground power supply. The City undertook a number of small projects before the state government introduced the SUPP initiative with Round One commencing around 1996, the main project being the Peninsula area off Mill Point Road. The City has prepared and submitted applications for each of the funding rounds to date and has been awarded projects in Rounds 1,2,3 and 5.

What is the reaction of the City at the announcement of funding?

The City, with the support of the community within the remaining overhead network areas, will continue to participate in any program that could ultimately deliver UGP as part of the City’s vision.

Do other parts of South Perth have underground power already and if so where?
Just under 50 percent of the local government area of South Perth has underground power and with the completion of Round Five Salter Point this figure will be approximately 58 percent. The areas without UGP include the suburbs of Kensington, and the balance of Manning south of Manning Road, all that part of Como from Canning Highway to Hayman Road, Thelma Street to South Terrace, as well as that part of South Perth from Douglas Avenue to Ellam Street, Canning Highway to the Foreshore.

Does the City envision that the rest of South Perth's power can be
undergrounded in due course?

The City will continue to put forward the remaining areas for UGP under any shared funding arrangement with the State Government.

Media contact

For media enquiries, please contact the City’s Communications Officer.