Copper wire thief is a moron, says landowner

Property developer Danny Ernst
Property developer Danny Ernst

On May 2, Mr Donnes went out to do some work on his 40-hectare property at Forrestdale Business Park only to discover that thieves had stolen about $10 worth of copper earthing wire.

The wire directs between 60,000 and 200,000 volts of electricity from the sub-stations into the ground.

When the copper wire is removed, the electricity from the sub-station will try to earth itself.

It could be directed towards anything, including a person who comes close to the sub-station.

‘For $10 worth of copper they put everyone’s life at risk,’ Mr Donnes said.

‘If someone got close enough, the electricity would jump to them.

‘I’ve seen a lot of dumping of rubbish and theft on land out there, but cutting the copper wire of a power sub-station has to be the stupidest thing I’ve seen yet.’

Mr Donnes bought and set up the sub-stations, but sold them to Western Power, which will have to spend thousands of dollars to repair them.

The sub-stations are not currently energised and they will be fenced off when buildings start to go up on the land.

Nightly security patrols at Forrestdale Business Park would help to deter anti-social behaviour there, Mr Donnes said.

The park is managed by the Metropolitian Redevelopment Authority (MRA).

A statement it issued earlier this year, relating to security and maintenance issues, said all agencies involved in the park, including the City of Armadale, WA Planning Commission, and land owners are responsible for its upkeep.