• Save Perth Hills Inc

Hundreds of Hills’ residents power-less in record heatwave

Western Power had advised it was unable to restore power, possibly, until Monday, for residents in Gidge, Mahogany Creek and other areas. Mundaring Town Centre was off grid today.

We appreciate and accept the reasons - we just can’t afford to risk igniting a fire in these conditions.

HOWEVER...

This demonstrates - yet again - the madness of

proposed developments, like North Stoneville, to introduce thousands more people, into challenging, bushfire prone regions like the Perth Hills.

The environment simply can’t support developments of this scale which would put thousands more at risk of fire... not to mention the impact on the proposed ‘electric’ wastewater sewerage solution...

Local Swan Hills MP Jessica Shaw has released this statement. We remind Ms. Shaw, (who has chosen to disassociate herself on the North Stoneville issue), that these ‘un-expected consequences’ are just part of why this community - and Mundaring Council, says this development - and others like it, must not proceed - until our leaders, politicians, planners and community are very clear on safe and appropriate development in our volatile and challenging regions.


LENGTHY POWER OUTAGES FOR GIDGEGANNUP: Jessica Shaw MLA

Western Power has contacted me to advise that there is a power outage currently affecting 223 residents in Gidgegannup. It is expected to last for a prolonged period, on account of the extreme weather conditions and fire risk.

Western Power have a helicopter up patrolling the hundreds of kilometers of lines, to attempt to locate the fault, but due to the "catastrophic" fire conditions and vehicle movement ban, it is not currently safe to send line crews out into hazardous farm and bushland areas, to search for the fault on the ground.

The power cannot be 're-routed' until the fault has been found - any spark could ignite a fire, so they MUST find the cause of the outage.

People have suggested that fire trucks could accompany line crews. Whilst this might sound like an easy solution, vehicle movement bans are imposed for good reasons and are not taken lightly.

The crew and fire vehicles themselves could cause a fire. Even if a VBFB truck accompanied a crew, there remains a very real risk, in these weather conditions, that any fire could get away.

This would risk the lives of the line crews and our fireys, in addition local residents and homes.

As I'm sure we're all also aware, a lot of our crews are also out at the moment responding to fires in Yanchep and Bullsbrook.

Western Power and the BoM are constantly monitoring weather conditions, to determine when it is safer to dispatch ground crews.

Western power have advised me that the outage may be lengthy - it could be days, given the prevailing weather conditions over the weekend.

Western Power will continue to assess whether it is possible to send crews out - they fully understand what a significant impact this has on our homes and businesses, are doing all they can and looking at all options to restore power.

I know this can be very frustrating, but if you live on a country property or in a semi-rural area (and as part of your normal fire planning) you need to prepare for power outages - particularly in fire and extreme weather conditions.

Protection settings on power lines are stricter in high danger weather periods, to guard against sparks causing fires. This means they are more sensitive and prone to outage - a simple spark could start a fire, so Western Power is understandably cautious about line operations and does all it can to guard against this risk.

Power lines are often also lost in fire events, irrespective of the ignition source.

If you live in a rural or bush area, and require 100% power supply reliability, it is prudent to ensure that you have standby generation - particularly if you are not on scheme water and rely on electric pumps for water supply.

I will continue to post any information that is provided to me by Western Power with respect to this outage, and have been in regular contact with them to convey resident's concerns. I will also request information about the cause of this outage and will make it available as soon as possible. As a Hills resident myself for over 13 years, I do appreciate how frustrating this can be.

For more information on fire readiness, visit:

https://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/firechat/Pages/default.htm

Compensation is also available for prolonged outages:

https://westernpower.com.au/faults-outages/make-a-claim/customer-damage/

Visit the link below to keep up to date on outage information:

https://westernpower.com.au/faults-outages/power-outages-map/

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