In The Press

Echo (21/2/09) After it all they get a gantry

I wouldn't want Echo readers to miss out on Western Power's latest blunder in the Eastern Terminal Substation debacle. In the Echo January 3, Western Power published an advert on page 14 advising their final decision on the Hackett's Gully bodge.


Hills Gazette (14/2/09) Power gantry poses fire risk

We are all angered by arsonists in the east, and with good reason. We should also be angry with Western Power's decision to locate its gantry in the extreme bush fire risk area of Hacketts Gully. Should a fire occur in that area, either through its construction or its operation, then the densely populated area of Kalamunda Hills will no doubt face the same fate.


Echo (10/1/09) No other option for terminal

Western Power has met with a community focus group to discuss phase one of the Powering Perth"s communities project.


Hills Gazette (6/12/08) Power consult plan sparks protests

Action groups have described Western Power's latest attempt at community consultation over the Powering Perth's Communities project as a sham and a farce. Gary Warden, spokesman for the Hills Climate Action Group, and Alan Lonsdale, spokesperson for the SETS group, have come out in protest over the focus group meeting held last Saturday in Kalamunda.


Echo (Nov 08) - Focus Group discusses Terminal Project

Western Power has met with a community focus group to discuss phase one of the Powering Perth"s communities project.


Hills Gazette (25/10/08) - Project unplugs Shire Ire

Kalamunda Shire Council moved an urgent motion at its meeting on Monday over the latest development in Western Power's controversial Powering Perth's Communities project.


Echo (25/10/08) - Eastern Terminal Project renamed

Western Power have announced a new name for the former Eastern Terminal project, saying the change was needed to reflect a new approach.


Hills Gazette (06/09/08) - Mixed Views on Terminal

Candidates contesting Hills seats have outlined a range of views on Western Power's proposed Eastern Terminal.


Hills Gazette (16/08/08) Win for Power Protest

A group fighting the construction of an electrical switchyard in the Hills is celebrating after Western Power announced it would take the project back to the drawing board....


Echo (16/08/08) Terminal discussed at meeting

Western Power's General Manager in Customer Services Mark de Laeter addressed the Shire of Kalamunda's Planning and Services Committee regarding the proposed Eastern Terminal switchyard. Over 80 people filled the chamber to demonstrate their disapproval of Western Power's lack of community consultation...


Hills Gazette (July 2008) Walk Trail damaged

Western Power has admitted two of its contractors damaged areas of a walking trail in Kalamunda during recent maintenance.


Hills Gazette (28/06/08) Substation in activists firing line

A newly formed group of Hills climate activists will fight the proposed construction of the eastern terminal electricity substation.


Hills Gazette (28/06/08) Tsunami of salt is a real killer

...Lo and behold on the same page is a big advertisement - an invitation from Western Power. The subject is basically land clearing for its new power line.


Hills Gazette (24/05/08) - Sparks fly over switch

Western Power have conceded they should have provided Hills residents with clearer information about the development of an Eastern Terminal Substation.


Hills Gazette (19/04/08) - Fears over power plan

A group opposing Western Power's plans to build an eastern terminal substation in the Hills fear the community will not receive a fair hearing during the next round of consultation.


Hills Gazette Letter to the Editor (19/04/08) - Why the change?

"I note with interest that Ian Buchanan from Western Power (Geologist's ideas rejected, Gazette, April 5) confirmed the southeastern terminal and the recommissioning of the transmission line are required in addition to the eastern terminal..."


The West Australian (17/04/08) - Plan to build more coal power stations

Coal magnate Rick Stowe is planning to capitalise on the high price of domestic gas by spending up to $1.2 billion building 3 new power stations in a move that will put further pressure on the WA Government's greenhouse targets.


Hills Gazette (05/04/08) - Geologist's idea rejected

Western Power has rejected a suggestion from a Hills Geologist that its planned eastern terminal substation is unnecessary.


Hills Gazette (29/03/08) - Hacketts Gully plea

Kalamunda Shire Council wants the State Government to extend Kalamunda National Park to incorporate an area of the state forest at Hacketts Gully.


Hills Gazette Letter to the Editor (29/03/08) - Residents must be consulted

"I am very concerned at Western Power's announcement of the building of a gantry on Mundaring Weir Road and upgrade of the existing 132,0000 volt line between Boddington and this new gantry."


Hills Gazette (22/03/08) - Council speaks out on station

Kalamunda Shire Council has expressed its intense opposition to the area Western Power is studying as a site for a planned eastern terminal substation.


Hills Gazette (15/03/08) - Calls to Delay Plan

A group opposed to Western Power's proposed eastern terminal substation in the Hills has urged energy minister Francis Logan to halt construction of a temporary gantry structure planned for Hacketts Gully.


Hills Gazette (01/03/08) - Group to fight for land

Tourism operators in the Hills have joined forces to fight Western Power's plans to build an eastern terminal substation in the Hills.


Hills Gazette Letter to the Editor (01/03/08) - Western Power plot thickens - Mr John Davenport, Bickley

"I note that Mr de Laeter claims the main reason for a "hills connection" to the metropolitan grid is because of new power stations being built at Collie".


Hills Gazette Letter to the Editor (23/02/08) - Home not yet chosen for ET - Mr Mark de Laete, General Manager, Customer Services, Western Power

"In response to the letter from John Davenport from Bickley, published in the February 16 issue, I assure residents that Western Power has not chosen a location for the proposed Eastern Terminal (ET) substation."


Hills Gazette Letter to the Editor (16/02/08) - Stealth at work over project - Mr John Davenport, Bickley

"Western Power's announcement of the reconstruction of the Collie to Hacketts Gully transmission line strongly suggests that it has chosen a site for the eastern terminal in the Hacketts Gully area."


# Hills Gazette (09/02/08) - People power ignored

An action group fighting the construction of an electricity substation in the Hills believes Western Power has no interest in consulting the community over a site.


Hills Gazette (15/12/07) - Substation put on backburner

Opponents to a proposed electrical terminal substation in the Hills have won a 12 month reprieve, with Western Power this week announcing it needs more time to consult the community.


Echo Newspaper (14/11/07) - Shire seeks consultation

Kalamunda Shire Council will request a consultation with Western Power on the proposal for the new Eastern Sub Terminal.


Hills Gazette (10/11/07) - Substation fight on

Opposition is mounting against Western Power's proposed Eastern Terminal Substation in the Hills.


Echo Newspaper (10/11/07) - Terminal Call

Darling Range MLA John Day has called for the State Government to listen to concerns of local residents about a new terminal substation to be constructed in the Kalamunda District.


Kalgoorlie Miner (Oct 07) - Threat to goldfields water

Goldfields drinking water could be at risk of contamination if a proposed Western Power substation is established in Kalamunda, according to Kalamunda Shire Councillor Frank Lindsay.


Echo Newspaper (Oct 07) - Substation site up for discussion

Residents will take an active role in the selection of a site for a new $180 million terminal substation in the Kalamunda-Mundaring area, according to Western Power.


Hills Gazette (29/05/99) - Substation opposed

Kalamunda Shire Council will "vehemently" oppose a bid by Western Power to build a substation near Mundaring Weir Road in Hacketts Gully.


Eastern Terminal project update & Shire elections

by John Davenport 9/19/2011 4:15:00 PM

September 2011 Update

Eastern Terminal Project

Western Power’s Eastern Terminal project remains deferred. Current information from Western Power’s website states that the new switchyard ‘will not be required until 2017 at the earliest’.

The South East Terminal, due for construction at Oldbury south of Armadale, and linked to an upgraded Wells (Boddington) to Hacketts Gully line will not be required “for at least three years” (as of September 2011). Western Power’s information indicates that this project has not progressed to regulatory approval stage ‘due to the uncertainty regarding the timeframe for new generation in the area and that alternative generation developments have deferred the need for this network reinforcement’.

The most recent Western Power information session held in Forrestfield in November 2010 saw the release of the Corporation’s Annual Planning Report. This report and the new generation of Western Power personnel present at that session indicate that there has been some philosophical changes in Western Power’s management of power transmission. For instance, the current unconstrained network access model is to be replaced with a constrained access model which optimises the economic return from the transmission and distribution network. This means that reinforcements (new lines and switchyards) would no longer be driven by the need for all generators to be able to export the maximum amount of power for which they are contracted, but rather to generate sufficient power to meet load requirements.

Further,  South West Integrated System (SWIS) power is transmitted using a 330kV transmission system linked in parallel with an underlying 132 kV system. Western Power’s new approach is to unparallel the 330kV and 132 kV transmission systems at various points in the network to improve the utilisation of the 330kV transmission network. At least one Western Power representative at the Forrestfield session said this was currently as low as 30 percent!

We feel these changes are significant in the management of and transmission of power. The SETS Group remains vigilant in monitoring Western Power’s plans for our area and will, when required, inform our supporters of any developments that may affect the above timelines.

Shire of Kalamunda Elections

September 2011, SOUTH - EAST WARD

Councillor Frank Lindsey who co-founded the SETS Group to oppose Western Power’s Eastern Terminal project, and who is the only Kalamunda Shire Councillor living in and representing the eastern section of the shire is standing for re-election in the South - East Ward.

Frank played a key role in our campaign and was instrumental in activating the Shire’s opposition to Western Power’s plan. It will be very important in combating any attempt by Western Power to reactivate their plans in the near term that Frank’s expertise is retained on the Kalamunda Council. Here is Frank's re-election flyer (911.13 kb) for your information and consideration.

Griffin Coal – Bluewaters Power Stations  

When Griffin Coal lost their contract to supply Verve power stations with Collie Coal, the management of Griffin Coal undertook the construction of the Bluewaters Power Stations based on an economic model that saw Griffin Coal supply coal to Bluewaters at very low prices. Much of Bluewaters  power goes to the Boddington gold mine whose owners paid for the upgrade of the Collie to Boddington transmission line. It is reported that only ten percent of Bluewaters generation goes to the state’s electricity grid.

The receivership of both Griffin Coal and Bluewaters in 2010 and the subsequent sale of these two companies (Griffin Coal to the Indian owned, Lanco Infratech, and Bluewaters to Japanese owned, Kansai Electric Power and Sumitomo Corporation) has seemingly further muddied the waters as far as the SWIS Reinforcement project is concerned.

Lanco Infratech has found itself straddled with a supply contract that is uneconomic for Griffin Coal. It was reported in June 2011 that Lanco Infratech wants to export as much coal as possible to India and was even prepared to pay a damages penalty rather than supply coal to Bluewaters. It was only on the intervention of Premier Barnett that this crisis was averted, but negotiations are yet to resolve this situation.

One can only speculate that if the reinforcement of the SWIS (by the upgrade of the Boddington to Hacketts Gully line and construction of the Eastern Terminal at a cost of 190 million dollars) had been completed by the Western Power timeline of Summer 2010, Western Australian taxpayers may now be facing the prospect of owning an expensive white elephant!

Thanks for your continued support.

John Davenport
Co-convenor SETS Group

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Western Power Announces Deferment of Hacketts Gully Line

by John Davenport 2/23/2010 3:05:00 PM

SETS Group welcomes the announcement by Western Power's Managing Director, Doug Aberle, that it has deferred work on the South-West bulk reinforcement project (the Boddington to Hacketts Gully line with associated gantry on Mundaring Weir Road).

Mr Aberle said a review had identified excess resources after it reduced the volume of capital works in the wake of the global financial crisis. It is regrettable that Western Power acknowledges the global financial crisis for this deferment rather than the unsuitability of the area for such structures. 

Consultation over the past 18 months has repeatedly drawn Western Power's attention to:

  1. the contravention of this project to the management principles for Priority One Drinking Water Source Areas,
  2. the variance to 7 of the 10 native vegetation clearing principles imposed by DEC,
  3. the excess of power in the SWIS system,
  4. the need to provide 'peak power' from generation sources close to the demand centres,
  5. the savings in peak power periods (27 percent) attained through 'demand side ' management,
  6. the reduced corridor width planned for the project which would expose our community to an increased risk of fire in an already fire-prone area
  7. the very real danger of the spread of die-back during the construction phase of the 90 kilometer line.

Western Power will update the community on April 28th with a community information session featuring Western Power's planning staff.

Watch for more details in the local press.

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SETS Supporters Update

by John Davenport 2/15/2010 12:59:00 PM

We urge our supporters to complete Western Power's surveyClick on the "Take our online survey" link once you get to Western Power's website.

Here is the direct link to the survey.

Western Power’s Proposed 330kV South West Transmission Reinforcement and the Eastern Terminal.

After the 29th November 2008 ‘focus group’ workshop held at the Jack Healey centre and attended by only 12 ‘locals’, Western Power issued, on 20th December, an ‘Invitation for Submissions for the Proposed 330kV South West Transmission Reinforcement’. The Western Power documents detailing this proposal contain 9 options for alternative reinforcements and can be viewed on Western Power’s website.( Project updates/Powering Perth Communities/Project History/Hacketts Gully)

Western Power received 16 submissions;

(i)    5 came from individuals opposed to various aspects of the proposal
(ii)    11 came from government, business and private organizations.
            Of these only 3 supported the proposal. These included Griffin Energy,
            the main beneficiary of the line upgrade, the Bunbury Economic Alliance
            and the Independent Market Operator (IMO), whose energy projections
            had been used by Western Power to support the proposal.
            Alinta stated it had no alternative suggestions
            Dept of Water stated that the existing line prevented access to its assets
            for maintenance and therefore reserved the right to require relocation of
            the proposed line route.

Of the remainder

             Office of Energy criticised various aspects of Western Power’s analysis
             and concluded that the alternative Landwehr to South East Terminal at
             Oldbury may provide greater opportunities for low emission technologies
             and co-generation.
             Aviva Corporation voiced concern that the proposal reinforced existing
             transmission infrastructure imbalance favouring south west generation and
             that this discounted new generation developments in the Mid West region.
             ERM could not agree with some of the statements and conclusions used
             to support Western Power’s contention that the proposal is needed to
             ensure a competitive generation market. It argued that the need is for
             ‘peak generation’ closer to the Perth market and that carbon pollution
              reduction schemes will make gas-fired generation more competitive than
              coal-fired generation. It argued that the reliability of the SWIS will be
              improved through generation capacity north of Perth.
              Synergy pointed out that the assumptions used by Western Power and its
              consultants ACIL Tasman & SKM do not reflect the current energy
              demand outlook. Moreover, it did not consider plant located north of
              Perth and that this area would be the location of significant renewable
              energy generation. Synergy concluded, ’there is no immediate need for
              augmentation, the opportunity afforded by deferring this decision will
              allow reflection on what is required and when. This deferral will also
              avoid an unnecessary cost impost on network users in these difficult
              times and relieve pressure on the state government’s debt requirement’
              Hills Climate Change Group  opposed the proposal for a number of
              reasons including carbon emission implications for coal-fired generation
              on the environment and climate change; and because much of the data
              used in Western Power’s decision is superceded by the global downturn.
              SETS Group submission  opposed Western Power’s preferred
              option 8 establishing a new 330kV transmission line from Collie to
              Hacketts Gully. Among a number of inconsistencies the analysis SETS
              noted ACIL Tasman’s variance with Western Power over the
              implications of Option 8, that being that ACIL Tasman stated that
              the Eastern Terminal will be located to the south at Byford and        
              referred to as the South East Terminal.
              SETS Group submission supported the Landwehr options.

On January 29, 2009, without any endorsement from the ‘focus group’ workshop, Western Power announced that it would proceed with the construction of a ‘gantry tie-in solution’ at Hacketts Gully.

On 28 January 2009 Western Power released a document called ‘Environmental & Social Review of the Line Routes: Landwehr to South East Terminal, Wells Terminal to Hacketts Gully’ (Available on Western Power’s website: Project updates/Powering Perth Communities/ Project History/related downloads/Environment & Social Review)

This review was based on a desk top study and only deals with the most superficial aspects of the 2 proposals, and rather than containing full environmental & social impact studies contains a number of subjective opinions such as; ’The State Forest has comparatively low conservation values…’ There is no discussion of the environmental impacts of the construction process despite the 90 km Wells to Hacketts Gully line  passing through a State Forest (80 hectares of which will be cleared for the Wells to Hacketts Gully line) susceptible to Phytophthora disease and 87.7 kms of the line being in Priority 1 Water Catchments of the Mundaring Weir, Middle Helena, Canning, Serpentine and South Dandalup Dams.

The SETS Group submission, dated 4th February, argues that Option 8 (Wells to Hacketts Gully) should be rejected on environmental and social grounds. The submission also raises the matter of an increase in fire risk for the community adjoining the State Forest, either trough line malfunction, lightening strike or misuse of the corridor by off-road vehicles.

May 2009  State Budget;

No allocation was provided for Western Power’s South West Transmission Line Reinforcement or the Eastern Terminal proposal in the State’s May Budget.

On the 23rd June, 2009 Western Power released ‘Assessment of impacts associated with the Wells to Hacketts Gully 330kV transmission line’ 

This document related to the granting of a permit (dated 12 February 2008) to clear native vegetation under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 for the purposes of upgrading Western Power’s South West Interconnected System (SWIS). It called for submissions ‘on the proposal to upgrade a section of the existing Guildford to Boddington 132kV line to a 330kV capacity from Wells Terminal near Boddington to Hacketts Gully’

Both the Shire of Kalamunda (letter dated 22 July, 2009) and SETS Group made representations on the Western Power document. The SETS Group submission opposed the use of the clearing permit for the line reconstruction for the following reasons:
(1)    The results of such clearing are at variance with 8 of the 10 permit principles.
(2)    It will contradict the guidelines for land use in all Priority 1 areas of the PDWSA’s and will seriously compromise water management strategy during and after the line reconstruction. [Note that the proposed 90 km line traverses 87.7km of Priority 1 area through the Middle Helena, Mundaring Weir, Serpentine Dam, Canning River and South Dandalup catchments]
(3)    The resulting line will increase the risk of fire, both from line mishaps and illegal vehicle activity, to an unacceptable level and consequence for the catchments and the adjacent communities.
(4)    It will increase the risk of the spread of dieback in the State Forest during construction and that no management strategy can entirely eliminate that risk. This is unacceptable given the fragile state of the forest.
(5)     Any clearing of the State Forest is unacceptable.    

To date, December 2009, nothing further has been publicly released to indicate any further advancement of the project, though it is interesting to note that the alternative option, Landwehr to South East Terminal, which was rejected by both Western Power and its consultants ACIL Tasman, has now been listed as a project for the South West Integrated System augmentation!

It is also interesting to note that the initial reason given for the new line (Wells to Hacketts Gully) was the need to supply ‘peak demand power’ for airconditioners in the northern suburbs. Last week (3rd December) the Minister for Energy opened the new open cycle gas-fired 320 mw Neerabup Power Station north of Wanneroo to do just that!

The SETS Group thank ALL our supporters for their help and interest in this vital matter.

We urge our supporters to complete Western Power's surveyClick on the "Take our online survey" link once you get to Western Power's website.

Here is the direct link to the survey.

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Site Selection Update | Powering Perths Communities | Site Selection Update

Opportunity to meet with Mark de Laeter, WP's General Manager Customer Services

by John Davenport 8/6/2008 5:01:00 PM

Mark de Laeter, Western Power's General Manager Customer Services will be meeting with the Kalamunda Council at the next Planning Meeting which will be held on Monday August 11th commencing at 7pm at the Council Chambers.

There will be a 15 minute segment with 15 minutes for questions.

All members of the public are welcome and encouraged to attend.

The SETS group thanks everyone for their support during the recent period of public comment.  We will be keeping you up to date with developments in the near future.

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Community Meetings | Government Meetings

Kalamunda Shire Opposes Eastern Terminal Substation

by John Davenport 4/11/2008 4:40:00 PM

The SETS Group is delighted with the support that has been demonstrated by the Kalamunda Shire Council in opposing Western Power’s proposed substation.

On Monday, 17 March 2008, the Ordinary Council Meeting saw the following motions passed.

The first motion was proposed by Cr Frank Lindsey and seconded by Cr Margaret Thomas.


With respect to the proposal by Western Power to establish an Eastern Terminal substation, the Kalamunda Shire Council:

(i) expresses its vehement opposition to siting of the substation within the study area designated by Western Power as it consists mainly of Priority 1 and Priority 2 water catchment areas, National Parks and State Forest, and consequently is unacceptable on environmental, economic and social grounds; and

(ii) expresses its vehement opposition to the announcement by Western Power of the 7 February 2008 that it is intending to construct a 'gantry' structure near the intersection of Mundaring Weir Road and Bahen Road, Hacketts Gully, without any prior consultation with either the Council or affected residents in Hacketts Gully.

This motion was passed unanimously.

Two other motions were passed by Council, both proposed by Cr Frank Lindsey and seconded by Cr John Giardina.


With respect to the proposal by Western Power to establish an Eastern Terminal substation, the Kalamunda Shire Council:

Directs the Chief Executive Officer to advise ratepayers of Council's opposition to Western Power's proposed Eastern Terminal Substation, through the Council's regular advertisement in local newspapers.


1. That the Kalamunda Shire Council reaffirms its support for an extension to the Kalamunda National Park, so as to incorporate within it, the state forest in Hacketts Gully; and further expresses its support for an extension to the Mundaring National Park and the Pickering Brook National Park, so as to incorporate local and state forests and link up with the Kalamunda National Park.

2. That the Chief Executive Officer write to the Darling Range Regional Park Community Advisory Committee, the WA Minister for the Environment, The Premier, the WA Minister for Planning and Infrastructure and the Leader of the Opposition, seeking their support for the extension to these national parks.

Councillors voted 9-2 in favour of the motions.

Please read the Hills Gazette articles entitled "Council speaks out on station" (22/03/08) and "Hacketts Gully plea" (29/03/08).

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Councillors of the Shire of Kalamunda for their support of these motions.  We would further like to express our gratitude towards Cr Frank Lindsey, Cr Margaret Thomas and Cr John Giardina.  We would encourage our supporters to email or ring these Councillors and express their appreciation as well.







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In the Press

SETS Group Presents Deputation to Council

by John Davenport 3/18/2008 9:50:00 PM

The SETS Group was invited by the Kalamunda Shire Council to present a deputation to the Council's Planning Services Committee on 11 February 2008.  SETS Group members Dr Alan Lonsdale and Toni Warden addressed the Committee.  The aims of the deptuation were to update Councillors on the work of the SETS Group, to inform them of the 18 year history of the Eastern Terminal proposal, to stress the vital role the Shire has previously played in opposing Western Power's proposal, and to propose actions by the Council.  The deputation also presented evidence supporting the SETS Group's belief that Western Power has selected a preferred site, and that we are now suspicious of the genuineness of any further consultation processes Western Power may engage the community in.

The SETS Group recommended that:

1. Council:

a) adopts the view that, whilst recognising the necessity for the upgrading of the power transmission network, the siting of a terminal substatiion in the study area, which consists mainly of P1 and P2 water catchment and National Parks and state forest, is totally unacceptable on environmetal, economic and social grounds;

b) urges Western Power to adopt an option that positions any future terminal substation outside the study area;

c) expresses outrage that Western Power has announced its intention to construct a "gantry" structure near the intersection of Mundaring Weir Road and Bahen Road, Hacketts Gully, without any consultation with the Council, directly affected residents in Hacketts Gully, or the community.

2. Council issues a public statement expressing vehement opposition to Western Power's proposal for an Eastern Terminal substation, and:

a) writes accordingly to Western Power, the Minister for Energy, the Minister for the Environment, the Minister for Water and the Premier;

b) issues a statement to the local press; 

c) writes to the Shires of Mundaring an dGosnells informing them of Council's view and inviting them to join an alliance to oppose the proposal. 

3. Council informs ratepayers about the proposal and its potential consequences, and Council's concerns and opposition, through:

a) the Council's regular advertisement in local newspapers;

b) the Council's website;

c) providing a link from the Council website to the "" website.

4. Council requests the Chief Executive Officer to prepare a report to Council on the likely impacts on residents and businesses in the Shire, including tourism, orcharding, viticulture, the economy of the Shire, the environment, visual amenity, and recreation [similar to the report prepared for Building & Services Committee in 1992].



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In the Press