Claremont digs deep for power

Premier Colin Barnett. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images
Premier Colin Barnett. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images

CLAREMONT Council has called on Cottesloe MLA Colin Barnett to support its push for a $10 million project to complete underground power in the town.

“We got a good reception, and I can only assume he will now take it up with the relevant public servants and ministers who are responsible for underground power,” Mayor Jock Barker said after meeting Mr Barnett 10 days ago.

The proposed project would supply underground power to about 1000 homes north of the Fremantle railway line, apart from three small pockets that already have the service including streets around the North East Precinct development, two small streets south of Lake Claremont and those west of Swanbourne Primary School.

Mr Barker said there would be no rates increase for all ratepayers created by the project because the town’s “sound” financial reserves meant a greater portion could be contributed by the council.

The council is banking on ratepayers’ desire to complete underground power and its greater contribution to the project to sway Government approval to pay the remainder.

“We’ve been turned down by Western Power in the past because of the way they used to assess applications based on things like the age of power poles, but now that’s been changed, and if towns are prepared to put in a greater amount then they can be consider new projects,” Mr Barker said.

Chief executive Stephen Goode said the proposed project would need to replace ageing infrastructure that could cause power failures and fires, including transformers on the top of the poles, and stop the excessive pruning of street trees.

Mr Barnett said he supported the council’s project.