Hon Mike Nahan BEc MS PhD MLA

Hon Mike Nahan BEc MS PhD MLA

Former Treasurer; Minister for Energy; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests

    Greater community say in underground power

    12/11/2015 9:15 AM
    • New arrangements for the State Underground Power Program will ensure strong community support

    Energy Minister Mike Nahan today announced changes to the next funding round (Round Six) of the State Underground Power Program, which will deliver greater network security.


    In Round Six, local governments will be able to nominate the proportion of project funding they are willing to pay.  Project proposals that offer a greater contribution share will receive a higher score as part of the selection process.  The minimum contribution from local governments will still be 50 per cent.


    "The program has proved to be very popular with local governments, with many worthwhile projects missing out in previous funding rounds," Dr Nahan said.


    "Local governments will now be able to offer to contribute a larger share of project costs to make proposals more competitive in the selection process.


    "This new arrangement will also allow for more projects to access available State Government funding for the program."


    Under the new arrangements, the selection process will also take community support into consideration. Property owners will be surveyed to determine their level of support for a proposal.


    "Community backing is very important, as property owners are usually asked to contribute towards the cost of a project," the Minister said.


    "For a proposal to be considered for the program, the community survey will need to show that at least 50 per cent of survey respondents support the project."


    To date, the State Government and Western Power/Horizon Power have each contributed 25 per cent of costs for major residential projects, with the participating local governments funding the remaining 50 per cent.


    Detailed guidelines for the funding and selection of projects under Round Six will be released within the next few weeks.  Local governments will then receive an invitation to submit project proposals.


    Fact File

    • The State Underground Power Program is a partnership between the Government of Western Australia, Western Power/Horizon Power and local governments
    • It involves placing overhead power lines in established areas underground
    • The selection process will consider Western Power's network priorities (50%), local government funding contribution share (25%) and community support for projects (25%)
    • More than 86,000 homes have received underground power over the lifetime of the program

    Minister's office - 6552 5700