Town of Bassendean sounds note of caution regarding underground power submission

MAKING a submission for underground power requires “careful consideration” after the process was “dramatically changed”, according to Town of Bassendean chief executive Bob Jarvis.

In 2011, the Town signed up for a $2.2 million project to have powerlines buried in Ashfield throughout 2012.

The State Government chose the area in round five of its underground power program.

Mr Jarvis said the round six process required more discussion with councillors on how to proceed.

“We do intend to make a submission, but the process has dramatically changed from previous rounds,” he said.

“It is now a bidding process with the local governments making the greatest contribution the most likely to succeed.

“These are matters which we will need to give more careful consideration to after further discussions with the councillors.”

Mr Jarvis said it would likely go to an upcoming council meeting so everyone was clear on how much the community was prepared to pay.

“Ashfield underground power was quite heavily discounted as an area of need and also as a poor performing part of the network,” he said. “It is therefore unlikely that the Town would ever get a project at that price again, particularly under this new bidding process.”

Energy Minister Mike Nahan said round six would allow local governments to nominate the proportion of project funding they were willing to pay.

The minimum contribution from local governments will still be 50 per cent.

“Local governments will now be able to offer to contribute a larger share of project costs to make proposals more competitive in the selection process,” he said.