La­bor pole po­si­tion queried

Hills Gazette (Kalamunda) - - NEWS - Lynn Gri­er­son

FOUR-and-a-half years after bush­fires razed 57 homes in the Perth Hills, there are no manda­tory pri­vate power pole in­spec­tions in WA.

Vol­un­teer fire­man Greg Jones de­fended his neigh­bours’ prop­er­ties and his own home in the 2014 Park­erville, Mt Helena and Stoneville fires.

At the time, he was pres­i­dent of the Stoneville and Park­erville Progress As­so­ci­a­tion and he be­came the co-or­di­na­tor-spokesman for the Bush­fire Claimants Con­sul­ta­tive Com­mit­tee.

He wrote to the then gov­ern­ment with a pro­posal for a pri­vate power pole in­spec­tion scheme.

“Un­der the scheme, qual­i­fied in­spec­tors would carry out the in­spec­tions and there would be a data­base of pri­vate power poles in WA,” he said.

“You can’t rely on mums and dads to find some­one in Yel­low Pages; these checks have to be done by trained in­spec­tors. We sug­gested Western Power was the best op­tion to carry out the in­spec­tions be­cause the ca­ble, the at­tach­ments and the ser­vice be­longs to them.”

Costs would be re­cov­ered through the emer­gency ser­vices levy.

The Gazette asked En­ergy Min­is­ter Ben Wy­att if the State Gov­ern­ment would in­tro­duce a state-run pri­vate power pole in­spec­tion scheme.

“Given the very pur­pose of the (on­go­ing) case is to de­ter­mine who has the re­spon­si­bil­ity for in­spect­ing and main­tain­ing the power poles on pri­vate prop­er­ties, it would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate for Gov­ern­ment to com­ment on is­sues and mat­ters be­ing raised dur­ing the le­gal process,” a spokesman said.

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