The owner wanted to be compensated for his generator hire costs when power had to be shut down on a busy trading day.

Midland IGA owner’s fair compensation bid

The supermarket owner shared his initial frustrations with moving his claim along but says he is happy the PTA has decided to compensate him fairly.
May 16, 2024
Guanhao Cheng

WEEKS of back and forth between a Midland IGA owner and the Public Transport Authority (PTA) has resulted in a happy outcome as his just over $6000 compensation request is to be fully paid.

Pham Group operations and marketing manager Matthew Huy Pham, who owns the Midland SUPA IGA, said Metronet works outside his business meant the power had to be cut off on February 25.

As such, Mr Pham had to hire a generator for his supermarket which cost a little over $6000.

Mr Pham initially approached Western Power to recoup costs, but was directed to Metronet and the PTA.

Mr Pham said only after weeks of no offers of compensation did the PTA finally offer him a “goodwill figure”.

“(The PTA) said, ‘We’re giving you $1340 as that’s what we’ve compensated other businesses’.

“I said, ‘No, the case you’re talking about, that person’s business, his generator cost $2300 or whatever, and he was eligible for the $1000 from Western Power and you, the PTA, paid the difference,” he said.

Mr Pham said because he uses a bigger generator for his business, he wasn’t eligible under Western Power’s compensation scheme, and therefore expected the PTA to pay the full amount.

“That was my position and what I was going for. I was like, ‘Look, what you’re claiming and citing, I don’t disagree with, but you need to compare apples with apples. You paid the difference between Western Power’s amount and the cost for the generator, and I’m asking for the same, which I think is fair’,” he said.

Mr Pham said being handballed around was also a frustrating part of trying to resolve his claim.

“(PTA) initially were like, ‘We’ve nothing to do with compensation and claims. Go to Western Power’,” he said.

“I had to go to them and say, ‘No, you’ll just send me to a dead-end because I’ve already been there. This is my claim number and reference number from when I contacted them. Their position is very clear that I have to speak to you guys’.

“The last 8-10 weeks being in contact with (PTA) has just been back and forth. They’re asking for more examples and justifications like, ‘send your invoice’, and why you need to be compensated and how much you’re looking for.

“I don’t want to be compensated for the extra time, or goodwill, or whatever the case.

“In my position, it cost me a little over $6000 for the generator hire and that’s all I want to be compensated for.”

Mr Pham said he felt it was reasonable to expect the PTA, who engaged Western Power to shut down power, to pay for costs incurred that were out of the business owner’s control.

Despite the initial conflict, the correspondence has ended on a positive note with the supermarket owner glad he didn’t have to pay the bill himself.

Mr Pham said he felt relieved that this issue had come to a satisfying resolution.

Echo News reached out to the PTA to confirm the agreement to full compensation and to comment on the turnaround in decision.

PTA spokesman David Hynes said the PTA had reimbursed the Midland IGA the full amount for the hire of a generator for the power outage on February 25 as a gesture of goodwill.

“The Public Transport Authority and New Midland Station project team are committed to working with local businesses to minimise disruption during the delivery of the project,” he said.

“While an initial sum of $1340 was offered to Midland IGA for the business disruption, the PTA escalated the matter and have made a one-off payment to cover the cost of the generator.

“The PTA has also made similar offers to other small businesses impacted by works and will continue to engage with local businesses to minimise impacts.”

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