Nedlands residents angry at missing out on underground power yet again

Don't derail the City of Nedlands' underground power campaign please.
Don't derail the City of Nedlands' underground power campaign please.

RESIDENTS in parts of Nedlands are angry that they have missed out yet again on underground power.

Energy Minister Mike Nahan announced 17 new projects in round six of the State Underground Power Program last month, benefiting 18,000 properties in eight local councils, including the Town of Cambridge.

Hollywood Underground Power Action Group spokeswoman Cilla de Lacy said not only was it ridiculous that the northern side of Nedlands missed out, the proposed cost of the project should the Hollywood area eventually be chosen.

“Some of the southern side of Stirling Highway in Dalkeith and Nedlands has had underground power for 20 years,” she said.

“Back then, it cost residents $2000.”

Ms de Lacy said the current cost of the SUPP was $12,400, however the City of Nedlands had quoted a substantial amount more.

“The City of Nedlands asked residents two years ago if we’d pay $17,000,” she said.

“Now they’re asking the exact same question.”

Nedlands Mayor Max Hipkins said the City was undertaking a survey of 475 property owners within the project area to gauge their views on the importance of installing underground power in the area and their willingness to pay for it.

“The outcomes of the community engagement will form part of a report for Council consideration at its Council Meeting in April,” he said.

“This will be delivered along with a presentation of the proposed design and costs, and funding model options.”

However, that would still leave 1698 lots in Nedlands with overhead power.

Ms de Lacy said it was unfair in the current economic climate to expect resident to pay 100 percent of the costs.

“We believe the survey is misleading and inappropriate given the unsubstantiated $17,000 price tag,” she said.

“But we request to landowners to indicate their willingness to pay the full cost, despite the fact all other landowners in Nedlands with underground power only paid 50 per cent of the cost.

“It also ignores the remaining Hollywood landowners that are still without underground power.

The western, northern and eastern parts of Floreat were announced as the three projects within the Town of Cambridge, with works due to begin this year.

Some of the suburbs that are part of Nedlands and the Town of Cambridge, such as Floreat, would be included in the program.

Ms de Lacy said HUPAG was unsure whether an announcement by Western Power that 84 power poles would be replaced in the Hollywood ward this year had influenced the decision.

Nedlands MP Bill Marmion said the SUPP was independent of Western Power and had nothing to do with it.