Powerlines debate likely for City of Bayswater

The debate of having City of Bayswater’s powerlines moved underground could reignite.
The debate of having City of Bayswater’s powerlines moved underground could reignite.

WITH changes to underground power funding made last month, the topic of moving the City of Bayswater’s electricity supply from above ground to below ground could be raised again.

The State Government made changes to the next funding round of the State Underground Power Program in an effort to deliver greater network security.

In round six, local governments would be able to nominate the proportion of project funding they were willing to pay.

Project proposals offering a greater contribution share would receive a higher score as part of the selection process but the minimum local government contribution would remain 50 per cent.

To date, the Government and Western Power-Horizon Power each contributed 25 per cent of costs for major residential projects, with the participating local governments funding the remaining 50 per cent.

Mayor Barry McKenna said historically the council expressed concern at the City and its ratepayers having to contribute to underground power projects as it involved state infrastructure that should be a state responsibility.

“Any contribution that council agrees to is likely to be dependent on the outcome of community consultation on the issue,” Cr McKenna said.

“Underground power is beneficial in ensuring a more reliable power supply, especially during storm events and also by enabling the removal of unsightly power poles, which also allows street trees to grow to their full potential without the need for regular pruning for powerline clearance.”

In August, Bayswater Council resolved to consider submissions under the program for the Maylands and Morley town sites and undertake community consultation.

Cr McKenna said at this stage Council had only indicated an intention to consider those two locations.

“The City has submitted two projects in the past being the area of Bedford and a small section covering Guildford Road from Seventh Avenue to Caledonian Avenue, Maylands,” he said.

“In addition sections of the city have been involved in boundary projects undertaken by neighbouring councils.

“The city believes that robust community consultation is an important element of any project and supports this component of the selection process.”