City on losing end of power struggle

Cr Zelones said none of the government’s underground power schemes were conducive to the city’s established suburbs.

‘The city submitted that the program favoured ‘leafy’ coastal suburbs and that the Government should support town and village centre undergrounding in outer suburbs,’ he said.

Each household would have to pay up to $5000, plus extra costs for people living in the hills.

Comment News sought the city’s views on underground power after Western Power revealed residents living in the City of Armadale experienced an average of 3.7 power cuts in the past year.

The figure was 4.8 two years ago. Residents told Comment News that they supported the idea of underground power, but some were tenants, so the cost would fall to their landlords.

There are more than 5000 households paying rent in the City of Armadale, according to the Census of Population and Housing 2011.

Armadale Mayor Henry Zelones said residents surveyed over the years did not support underground power due to the expense and inconvenience it would case.

All new developments must have underground power, and undergrounding of power is under constant review by the city in established area.

The city funded major undergrounding in the Kelmscott, Armadale town centre and Lakes Road project.

Energy Minister Mike Nahan said the benefits of underground power included increased reliability, improved aesthetics and improved property prices.

Local governments may subsidise the 50 per cent contribution required by property owners, and the State and Western Power fund the remainder.

‘Selection of locations for undergrounding therefore depends on a willingness of property owners to meet their share of costs, or of the local governments being prepared to provide funds for the program without passing the cost on to property owners,’ Mr Nahan said.