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Western Australia Minister for Energy Peter Collier

Implementing Recommendations Of Wood Pole Audit On Track

Victor P Taffa

Western Power is on track to deliver on all of the recommendations set out in EnergySafety’s 2008 Distribution Wood Pole Audit Review.

Energy Minister Peter Collier said Western Power had made significant progress in implementing the 33 recommendations into issues raised around the corporation’s engineering and maintenance processes for its overhead wood pole network.

“Recommendations in the audit which were due now have been completed by their required time frames.” Mr. Collier said.

“The other recommendations are all on track to be completed within EnergySafety’s requested time frames.”

The Minister said Western Power had also addressed other significant issues raised by EnergySafety, which focused on the management of the wood pole network, including methods Western Power used to inspect and maintain its network.

 

“This has resulted in major improvements in the inspection techniques used by Western Power in monitoring its wood pole network, and improving the training and monitoring of pole inspectors.” the Minister said.

“I am confident the work Western Power is carrying out will make a significant impact towards ensuring Western Australia has a secure and reliable electricity network.”

Western Power has also prioritised its funding to address the highest priority investments in public safety and regulatory compliance, as reflected in the Budget.

This includes:

  • $298 Million on Distribution Asset replacement and renewal to improve the condition of the network;
  • $211 Million on targeted distribution reliability improvement work;
  • $240 Million on distribution compliance initiatives, including bushfire mitigation initiatives and the replacement of overhead service connections.

Work Western Power has completed, as outlined by EnergySafety, includes:

  • Identify untreated jarrah poles in the rural network that did not comply with strength or safety requirements and developed a targeted program to replace these poles on a priority basis;
  • Improve the reinforced Pole Replacement Program;
  • Develop an enhanced quality assessment process for the new wood pole inspection contract to be implemented on July 1;
  • Implement a more effective investigation process of all Pole Failures.
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