Underground Power

The State Underground Power Program (SUPP) is a State Government initiative administered by the Public Utilities Office (PUO) at the Department of Finance.

Local governments can nominate areas to be converted to underground power. Each nomination is assessed against social, economic and technical criteria by the SUPP Steering Committee.

The program involves placing the overhead power lines in established areas underground. Since the commencement of the program 55 major residential projects throughout WA have been completed and over 86,000 homes state-wide have received underground power.

City of South Perth SUPP projects

The City has had projects in Rounds One, Two, Three and Five. The last underground power project in the City was Salter Point, which commenced in October 2011. Submissions for the funding round were called 12 months earlier and the City submitted seven project areas: Salter Point, Manning, Collier, Kensington East, Kensington West, South Perth and Hurlingham. In total 89 projects from 27 local governments were received for Round Five. About one third of the submitted projects were eliminated as non-compliant. The seven project areas nominated by the City were all compliant.

Of the remaining areas subjected to first stage assessment, 18 projects satisfied Western Power’s selection criteria. Salter Point was included in the short listed group and subsequently selected and approved. 

In December 2015 the PUO announced that submissions were invited from local governments interested in participating in Round Six of the SUPP. The funding arrangement still required local government to contribute a minimum of 50% of the project cost. 

The City submitted all remaining six areas for assessment for Round Six funding. All areas share the same priority and are consistent with the City’s overall vision of having all overhead powerlines placed underground throughout the entire area. The six underground power areas referred to in the City’s submission are:

  • Collier – all of the area bounded by Canning Highway, Ryrie Avenue, Blamey Place and South Terrace
  • Hurlingham – all of the area bounded by Mill Point Road, Hovia Terrace, Canning Highway, Ellam Street, Sir James Mitchell Park and Douglas Avenue
  • Kensington East – all of the area bounded by Canning Highway, Banksia Terrace, George Street, Anketell Street, Rathay Street and the local government boundary rear of the Berwick Street properties
  • Kensington West – all of the area bounded by Canning Highway, South Terrace, George Street and Brandon Street
  • Manning – all of the area bounded by Manning Road, Kwinana Freeway, Hope Avenue and Challenger Avenue
  • South Perth – all of the area bounded by Douglas Avenue, Canning Highway, Hovia Terrace and Mill Point Road.

What's next?

The City has nominated the local government contribution to Round Six as 80% and will cap the maximum payable by any property owner to under $7,000. Discounts will be available for pensioners and registered seniors and to owners of properties adjacent to transmission lines or where the full amenity benefit is not achieved because power infrastructure (excluding street lights) is still located on the verge.

The Schedule of Fees and discounts will not be set until the City has been awarded a project. If the City is successful and is awarded a project it is unlikely that work could commence before the 2018/19 financial year.

For more information about the State Underground Power Program, visit the Western Power website