Challenge to underground power plan’s management

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Tom ZaunmayrPilbara News
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Power poles will be no more when the PUPP network is completed.
Camera IconPower poles will be no more when the PUPP network is completed. Credit: Pilbara News, Tom Zaunmayr.

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Parfty candidate Fiona White-Hartig has promised to take on the Pilbara’s electricity provider over underground power and smart meters if elected.

Mrs White-Hartig said the Government needed to conduct an independent audit into the roll-out of the Pilbara Underground Power Project.

“The fact that ratepayers have been financially responsible for Horizon Power’s mismanagement is wrong,” she said.

“There was an inquiry before and it identified there were issues but it did not go deep enough.”

Mrs White-Hartig said cost savings on the project should be passed on to ratepayers.

She said she would also push for an inquiry into the accuracy of smart meters, claiming there were “far too many” people seeing bills skyrocket after having them installed.

Opposition state development minister Bill Johnston with Pilbara Labor candidate Kevin Michel.
Camera IconOpposition state development minister Bill Johnston with Pilbara Labor candidate Kevin Michel. Credit: Picture: Tom Zaunmayr

Opposition State Development spokesman Bill Johnston said the sale of Horizon Power’s high-voltage transmission lines and privatisation of Horizon Power represented a risk to Pilbara residents’ hip pockets.

“The high voltage transmission lines owned by Horizon Power are the one bit of the company that is actually profitable,” he said.

“This coming after the debacle of under grounding power which ended up costing individuals thousands of dollars.

“Now the government, having paid that money, is threatening to sell those assets that the people of Karratha paid for.”

On a visit to Karratha last year, Energy Minister Mike Nahan said the second phase of the PUP project was ahead of schedule and on budget.

Dr Nahan said he expected all of Karratha to be completed by the end of 2017.

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