What's changed - how is the new ET proposal different?

From 1998 to March 2008, Western Power has consistently outlined plans for an Eastern Terminal substation. This would be constructed in stages, the first stage being a switchyard requiring 4 ha. Over time the facility would be developed into a full 20 ha substation with transformers and additional transmission lines, as described elsewhere on this site.

In the Western Power workshops in Kalamunda in October 2007, on their website and in numerous publications, media statements and statements by the Minister for Energy, it was explained that the purpose of the Eastern Terminal substation was to serve expected development and meet growth in demand for power in the metropolitan area. The community was told that the facility was not specifically for the Hills area.

Suddenly, Western Power has announced that only a switchyard is required, and that the need for development into a full substation is extremely unlikely.  The reason given is that expected land development and electricity load forecasts for the Hills region do not indicate the need for a substation. The basis for planning appears to have been dramatically changed.

However, even though a switchyard only requires 4 ha, Western Power still intends acquiring 20 ha (the area required for a full terminal substation).


Last Monday, August 11th at the Kalamunda Shire’s planning services committee meeting, 80 residents attended the meeting to listen to Western Power’s Customer Services General Manager, Mark de Laeter admit that the company had embarked on a course of confusion and mismanagement during the project, since September last.

Disappointingly, this trend of misinformation continued as he claimed that WPC was wanting a “fresh start” by going back to the drawing board, reviewing alternative supply options and consulting with the community in an open-book style.

Mr de Laeter then went on to re-emphasise that it was Western Power’s belief that Eastern Terminal was the best option and that they still wanted it in Hacketts Gully, because they were considering offering the residents a 500m buffer zone to their properties!

Western Power are NOW saying that they will only acquire a 4ha switchyard site, and it will never seek to put a oil polluting transformers within this Priority 1 water catchment area. Yet, a question by Councillor Martyn Cresswell revealed that Western Power had plans to upgrade a 66kV line in the vicinity of the Hacketts Gully area to one of 132kV.  This would mean that a transformer at the Eastern Terminal site would be needed, and within a Priority 1 Water Catchment Area.

Later, Councillor Frank Lindsey asked why would such a small switchyard still be needed. Mr de Laeter reiterated Western Power’s previous claims that if industrial development to the East of Mundaring eventuated, the Eastern Terminal would be needed. The fact that WPC is still pursuing this site, clearly indicates that it must be a foregone conclusion that such a project will eventuate. A project which can only mean that mining of the Bauxite leases 8km east of Mundaring Weir (used for manufacturing Aluminium – the worst resource intensive metal on the planet) will be a reality in the not to distant future.