Homeowners in underground power struggle over double charge


Arnold Crescent homeowner Graeme Fuller says he is being charged twice for underground power.
Picture: Jon Hewson d464477
Arnold Crescent homeowner Graeme Fuller says he is being charged twice for underground power. Picture: Jon Hewson d464477

HOMEOWNERS on Arnold Crescent and Urwick Court in Kardinya may have to contribute up to $4450 for underground power in their suburb.

This is despite the fact both streets have had the infrastructure for more than 30 years.

Originally part of North Lake, which had underground power installed when it was first subdivided in the early 1980s, Arnold Crescent and Urwick Court were ceded to the City of Melville in the late 1990s.

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Both streets were included in Kardinya South, one of 17 Perth metropolitan areas selected for funding in round six of the State Underground Power Program.

While the State Government will fund 50 per cent of the project cost, the remainder will be levied on homeowners in the area, most of whom expressed support for the program through a mail-out survey in August 2016.

After receiving the survey, Arnold Crescent homeowner Graeme Fuller contacted the City believing there had been a mistake but was told he would have to contribute.

“The City told me that we would receive a rebate on our contribution, although it has not specified the amount,” he said.

“Naturally we are not at all thrilled with the prospect of being made to contribute any amount towards a service that we already enjoy and for which we have already paid through the purchase price of our house.”

Mr Fuller said the City was acting in clear breach of its own policy of recouping the cost of underground power only from homeowners who stood to benefit.

He also disputed the City’s claim that Arnold Crescent and Urwick Court would benefit from a more reliable power supply in Kardinya South.

“Both streets are already part of an integrated subdivisional underground power scheme, the cost of which was funded entirely by the developer and ultimately passed on to those that bought land in the area,” Mr Fuller said.

Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey said there had been past occasions where pockets of homeowners with existing underground power had been included in project areas.

“We have had some situations in the past where properties have been heavily discounted due to previous underground power works funded by residents,” he said.

“The situation in Kardinya South will depend to some degree where they currently draw their power from. The approximately 37 properties in question will either be heavily discounted or not included in the project.”

Alfred Cove East and Melville North have also been selected to receive underground power in the latest funding round.