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26 August 2021
Increased contribution to Hilton underground power

Fremantle Council has agreed to increase the City of Fremantle’s contribution to the roll out of underground power in Hilton.

Last year Western Power identified Hilton as one of four Perth suburbs to participate in a new underground power pilot program, with Western Power to provide $7.4 million to fund the majority of the works and the City of Fremantle contributing $1.1 million.

After a detailed tender process revealed the cost of the project would be more than originally estimated, Western Power requested the City increase its contribution.

Last night Fremantle Council agreed to increase the City’s contribution by $162,000 to $1.26 million.

Fremantle Deputy Mayor Andrew Sullivan said even with the increased cost the project was still a bargain for Hilton residents.

“The widespread power outages experienced in Hilton during the recent storms demonstrated the value of having underground power,” Cr Sullivan said.

“Most of the power poles and overhead power lines in Hilton are old and due for replacement, so Western Power has proposed a unique opportunity to put the funds needed to install new poles and wires towards the installation of underground power instead.

“Under our co-funding agreement, Western Power will pay for all the mains infrastructure and new LED streetlights and the City will pay for the connection of residential properties to the mains.

“Western Power advises the costs have gone up since their original estimate due to higher than expected market rates and also the discovery of some asbestos that will need to be removed and hard cap rock that will make digging more difficult.

“As a result Western Power will be contributing another $3 million to the project and the City will chip in another $162,000.

“The connection cost per property will be around $2500, compared to between $3000-$9000 under the previous State Underground Power Project and between $4000-$10,000 for private underground connections.

“When paid off over seven years that works out at around $357 per year, which isn’t a lot when you consider the benefits of a more reliable power supply, improved street appearance and new streetlights.”

The City’s contribution to the project will be paid in three instalments - $395,000 in March 2022, $395,000 in August 2022 and $472,571 in January 2023.

This will be recovered through a service charge levied by the City on properties that receive a new underground connection, to be paid interest-free over a period of seven years.

Construction of the project is expected to start in early 2022.

Map of the Hilton underground power area

Latest project information

Visit the Hilton underground power project page for the latest updates and information.