Former employee of Western Power subcontractor to give evidence in Parkerville fire case

LAWYERS for Western Power and subcontractor Thiess will continue their opening addresses as the long-awaited class action over the 2014 Parkerville blaze enters its second week in the Supreme Court.

Nearly 200 residents and property owners are part of a class action suing Western Power, its subcontractor Thiess – now known as Ventia Utility Services – and the elderly owner of a rotten and termite-ridden power pole that fell over in January 2014, sparking the blaze that razed 57 homes.

Slater and Gordon group leader Rory Walsh said Western Power was trying to lay the blame for the fire on Thiess, Noreen Campbell and the regulator.

“So far we have seen each of the defendants furiously pointing the finger at each other,” he said.

“No doubt we will hear more today when Western Power resume their opening statements.”

Mr Walsh said an ex-employee from Thiess who supervised power line works in July 2013 had been called under subpoena to give evidence on Wednesday.

It’s alleged the crew which inspected the pole in July 2013 failed to exercise due care and skill.

Mr Walsh said his clients were still suffering significant financial hardship as a result of the fire.

“It also creates great stress and psychological stresses for our client group and so they are very much looking forward to this trial, getting their day in court,” he said.

A Western Power spokesman said as the matter is currently before court, it would be inappropriate to comment on specific allegations.

“We will continue to be willing and respectful participants of the trial, and all matters and allegations raised during the trial will be addressed, in detail, by our legal representatives.”

In a WA first, the trial is being live-streamed on the internet, accessible to the general public.