As of Thursday afternoon Western Power says only 80 customers in the Wheatbelt are without power.

Power back but incident control centre still waits

While power is back for most customers affected by the storm, a longer wait is expected for the incident response failover centre promised before the 2022 federal election.
January 25, 2024
Gera Kazakov

MORE than 700 Western Power workers from all depots have helped restore power to those who experienced week-long or ongoing outages.

Western Power acting chief executive officer Jacqui Hall said that repair work involved replacing 220 poles, 21km of conductors, and 25 transformers in the network in Perth Hills through to the Wheatbelt extending to Wongan Hills.

“In the Wheatbelt alone there were 142 poles damaged and repair work required 10,000 asset patrols,” she said.

“What the numbers don’t show is the size of the network and the distances crews must travel with equipment and machinery.”

The power outage affected many in the hills, including Hasluck MHR Tania Lawrence, who said she lost power to her place in Mundaring for a few days.

Days before the 2022 federal election, Ms Lawrence and Burt MHR Matt Keogh jointly announced a $3 million investment into disaster readiness and mobile connectivity for Perth Hills communities in Hasluck.

The $3 million commitment included a $1.25 million incident response and communication failover centre for the Shire of Mundaring, and $1.75 million to increase mobile coverage in Herne Hill, Brigadoon, and North Stoneville.

Ms Lawrence said the commonwealth was continuing to work with the WA government to deliver the incident control centre for Hasluck and the Perth Hills.

“We are committed to the delivery of this project in a way that best serves the needs of the Hasluck electorate and reflects the Department of Fire and Emergency Services’ operational needs,” she said.

“Agreements of this nature take time to finalise, but this was required to ensure strong transparency and governance, and I am pleased that this process is now well underway.”

Ms Lawrence also said that telecommunication upgrade works in Brigadoon were likely to be completed this year, while the Stoneville upgrade is within the $37.2 million improving mobile coverage round grant, with the new mobile base station in Stoneville subject to local planning approvals.

“I will continue to work with the ministers and network operators to secure appropriate funding to undertake the required upgrades in Herne Hill,” she said.

Western Power’s extended outage payment has been increased from $120 to $240, with those who experienced an outage for longer than 12 hours eligible.

To make a claim visit here.

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