Underground Power

Media Response 15 June 2011
Underground Power
Please attribute the following comments to City of South Perth Mayor James Best:

1.    What are the intended outcomes to be achieved by way of this project (for example, in terms of improved electricity supply as well as an improved streetscape)?  

The removal of the overhead power lines reduces the extent of (but does not eliminate the need for) the pruning of street trees. It enables the street trees to develop a full and natural crown that improves overall the appearance of the street.

The underground supply has been designed to meet the current zoning of the area with capacity to enable the opportunities presented by the higher residential densities to be achieved through new developments.

2. How have residents reacted, both to the initial problem that fuelled the project (i.e. electricity supply issues), the project itself, and the fact that property owners will be meeting the City’s share of costs?  

As part of the selection process the Office of Energy conducted an independent survey of all property owners. The documentation outlined the proposal and the likely order of costs that would be a direct charge to the property owners. The extent of public support was a significant factor in finalising the selection of the project areas that had previously been listed solely on technical criteria. The City has been informed that the response rate to the survey was the highest recorded in the SUPP round and that the level of support to the project as outlined including the service charge payment was also the highest received.

3. How pleased is the City of South Perth at being awarded the funding as part of the State Underground Power Program?  
The community of the City of South Perth has supported the underground power project from its inception. The City, very early in the formative years of the program, conducted a widespread community survey of the non-underground power area to determine the likelihood of a direct owner funded program of undergrounding of powerlines being supported. The responses were positive and over time continue to generate questions from owners within the non-UGP areas as to when they will be receiving underground power. The City is satisfied that the support for the program still exists within the community and will continue to participate in the process for future funding. The City has had a UGP project in each of the Funding Rounds 1,2,3 and 5.

4. The Salter Point project is set to start in August. What should residents expect, in terms of potential disruptions (if any), while the project is being completed?   
The property owners will experience minimal disruption as a result of the works. The drilling and main cable laying will result in some excavation where cable jointing is required and at the start and end of a street section. Properties with an underground connection from the overhead network will experience a short power outage as the property is switched over from the overhead network to the UGP network. Properties without the UGP house connection will experience a similar power outage for the switch over as well some trenching to install the cable to the house. 

The contractors for this work will be reassigned to Salter Point from a recently completed Round Four project. 

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