In The Press

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.


Western Power Fails Again

by Alan Lonsdale 11/26/2008 9:22:00 AM


Media Statement 25 November 2008

Western Power’s latest attempt to engage the community in consultation has, like all previous attempts, run into difficulties.  As reported previously in the Hills Gazette (25/10/08), Western Power called for nominations for a focus group to work with it on the first stage of the controversial Powering Perth Communities project, previously known as the Eastern Terminal project. 

The focus group would assist Western Power to select a preferred option for a “tie-in”, which would connect to the metropolitan network a new 330 kV line from Collie to the Perth Hills.  The “tie-in” would be located in Hacketts Gully, the site of Western Power’s previous failed attempt to locate the Eastern Terminal, and of the gantry structure proposed early in 2008.

However, Western Power’s plans for the focus group have already changed.  Due to the lack of response from the community to nominate for the group, Western Power announced that the three focus group sessions scheduled for 15 November, 29 November and 6 December would be cancelled.  In their place a single full day workshop is now planned for 29 November. 

The focus group exercise was roundly condemned by Kalamunda Shire Council at its October meeting and by the action group opposed to Western Power’s proposed Eastern Terminal.  The revised focus group exercise is Western Power’s fifth attempt at community consultation, the first four having failed. 

The Stop the Eastern Terminal Action Group (SETS Group) is dismayed that Western Power has embarked on the latest exercise in contradiction of assurances given by Mark de Laeter, Western Power’s General Manager, Customer Services.  In an address to Kalamunda Shire Council on 11 August, Mr de Laeter acknowledged that Western Power’s previous community consultation attempts had failed and promised a ‘fresh start’.  The ‘fresh start’ would involve working with the community in ‘open book’ style, and agreement with the community on an ‘engagement model’ for consultation. 

 “This latest move by Western Power breaks these promises”, said Dr Alan Lonsdale, spokesperson for the SETS group.  “There has been no consultation with the community about an ‘engagement model’.”  “The new focus group exercise is seriously flawed – because participation is limited to a selected few chosen by Western Power, it disenfranchises virtually all members of the community, and prohibits environmental and other community groups from participating fully.”  “It is certainly not ‘open book’ style.”

In particular, the SETS Group is worried that a decision now concerning a “tie-in” in Hacketts Gully will constrain options for phase 2 of the Powering Perth Communities project.  “The second phase is to involve the selection of a site for a switchyard, or possibly a terminal substation.  Further down the track the community may discover that there is no alternative but to locate this in Hacketts Gully.  It is essential that Western Power fully informs the community now of the factors involved in its planning”, said Dr Lonsdale.  “Western Power’s latest attempt at community consultation is seriously flawed”, he said.

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Community Meetings | Gantry | In the Press | Powering Perths Communities | Site Selection Update


12/16/2008 5:12:28 AM

Graeme Rundle

Hi.....As a Hills resident and sympathetic to the expressed concerns of Stop The Eastern Terminal Sub-Station Action Group, I'm neither a member nor specifically a supporter of the Action Group.

Anyone with some knowledge of power transmission lines would appreciate the logic of pulling out an existing single circuit 132 kV power transmission line and replacing it with a much greater capacity double circuit 330 kV transmission line(linking the SW's power generating hub at Collie and main load-demand centre of Perth).

This would be done in an already-cleared corridor, where the easement has alrady been secured, and where Native Title and EPA clearances wont be an issue.

On reaching Hacketts Gully in the Perth Hills, where the cleared route already intercepts the existing 330 kV transmission line that comes into the Hills from the coastal plain at Gosnells (and runs back onto the coastal plain at Bellvue) is also logical to tie-in the new Collie line to the existing "Gosnells" line, enabling the additional new power to continue through the existing 330 kV line to the coastal plain Terminal sub-station at Malaga.

It is also quite logical for that tie-in to be via a SWITCH YARD, either directly at Hacketts Gully or not too far from this powerline junction. A switch yard enables power to be redirected at such a junction, when there is a malfunction in the transmission network.....preventing a prolonged regional power outage. A direct tie-in without a switching facility doesn't assist with supply security.

As Hills residents and bush and landscape lovers, WHAT WE DON'T WANT is a Terminal in the Hills that becomes a sub-station, for these have transformers that drop 330 kV power down to lower voltages......and then radiate this to a network of district sub-stations via a web of sub-transmission lines.

What is lacking is trust. Today's Western Power officials can assure us that a Western Terminal SWITCH YARD in the Hills will not become a future SUB-STATION......but they have no control over the next generation of agency officials. In the future another group of officials may see good reason to expand a Terminal switch yard in the Hills to become a Terminal sub-station with its array of sub-transmission lines blighting the Perth Hills landscape.

In this climate of mis-trust and poor planning, the best place to TERMINATE the new Collie-Perth 330 kV transmission line is on the coastal plain at Perth in the first instance, where the load demand is. There it can be linked into other 330 kV lines via a switch yard and this could have a strategic location for development also as a Terminal sub-station.

The new Collie to Perth 330 kV transmission line WILL be built in the existing 132 kV corridor via Boddington. It has been calculated, however, that the extra power it will carry will be needed in Perth in 2-3 year's time....and has already been contracted for delivery. Thus, to get the powerline out of the Hills to a coastal plain TERMINAL will mean re-locating the Perth end of the line through forested catchment, orchards and paddocks somewhere between Byford and Bellvue!

Wherever this option is to happen, it will impact on someone's favourite part of the Hills, and their "backyard". But this is the discussion of options that all of the Hills community needs to engage in.....and there will be a community loser- perhaps those who fail to become involved!

Graeme Rundle

12/24/2008 12:25:26 PM

Toni Warden

Hi…. Graeme

It is logical to upgrade a transmission line within an already existing power line corridor – yes that is true. Except that this line should arguably never have been built in that locatin in the first place. The 165km power line corridor traverses three Priority 1 Water Catchment areas, all of it within extreme bush fire risk areas, and a number of endangered habitat’s for both flora and fauna. From the “quick and nasty” environmental reports done (of which there is only one), weed infiltration is already in strong evidence and there is just no way for Western Power to be able to mitigate the creeping effects of that, nor the very likely Dieback spread that will result as it works to “upgrade” this line through the winter months (against all advice from the experts).

What is not logical is the construction of a power line which will not only pave the way for an additional transmission line in 2017 and even more clearing (as referred to in WP own correspondence), but used to justify the 100% power cost increases over the next three years. Where is the logic of continuing with a contract of a 1,000MW of coal fired power that will enslave Perth to a total dominance of coal fired power generation in an carbon trading future (meaning we as tax payers will be made to pay for the burden of this in addition to the power cost increases)? As another implication to this point, WA export industries will be punished for this burden in a growing environmental impact levied economy such as the current “food miles” concept operating in the European Union.

Western Power also seems to have conveniently missed the point in that the economic circumstances have changed dramatically! The IMO’s projections that were questionable 3 months ago (because they were mainly based on the projected power needs of hypothetical projects) are now completely unsubstantiated in fact. It is difficult to predict how long the economic crisis will go for but many experts say that we haven’t seen the worst of it yet. There is no doubt that we will see job losses and further project cancellations in Western Australia than we have seen so far.

Western Power continues to this day to pay little or no attention to energy demand side management that whilst is a legal requirement for the entity, it is not in their financial interest to do so. However, a focused demand side management program, combined with much more modest growth scenarios, should negate the need for any expansion of the transmission network. The hundreds of million of dollars Western Power is looking for, logically would be better spent by our Government on helping our economy transition into a clean energy future, through available “ready to go” technology like wave power generation, solar power generation, wind and thermal.

You speak about the next generation of Western Power agency officials…..well they have come, and surprise, surprise, they are still working towards the terribly flawed 20 year old planning objective (of which our members have a hard copy). There is no doubt that their 20 year old plan to build a TERMINAL substation in pristine bushland is continuing. I personally believe the SETS fight is not about mistrust by a bunch of NIMBY hillbillies, but an informed campaign to educate the community and wider population to the facts. I believe Western Power’s 20 year history of poor planning and mis-management on this project is costly to not only the greater environment of Western Australia, but also to us tax payers. Trying to convince the community that ET is good for us, while its every action “disempowers” us, is incorrigible to say the least.

Toni Warden au

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