Local power generation is the key to preventing future outages, says Mid West MP Shane Love

Phoebe PinMidwest Times
Destroyed powerlines in Kalbarri a few weeks after cyclone Seroja.
Camera IconDestroyed powerlines in Kalbarri a few weeks after cyclone Seroja. Credit: Lisa Favazzo/The Geraldton Guardian, Lisa Favazzo

Regional communities must be equipped with communications networks robust enough to withstand extreme weather events, says Member for Moore Shane Love.

The hum of the generator can still be heard across Mid West communities now in their third week since cyclone Seroja caused widespread power outages on April 11.

According to Western Power, almost 2700 customers remain off supply, with 608 of those located in Northampton, 590 in Kalbarri, 71 in Binnu and 66 in Perenjori.

A high-voltage generator has been installed at Perenjori, enabling the restoration of the townsite and reconnection of approximately 180 customers.

Mr Love said for years he had been warning of the consequences of not upgrading power infrastructure, suggesting the entire network system needed changing.

“I have been arguing for a long time that we need more resilience in our communications networks so we can stand the power outages,” he said. “The Mid West is characterised by long leads which are subject to heavy climatic impacts. The system hasn’t worked well for the whole time I have been in Parliament and this cyclone is the most stark example of the fact that it needs to be changed.”

Mr Love said underground power networks were expensive, suggesting local power generation was the key to preventing outages.

“We need local generation, it is so obvious now that we need the ability in local communities to generate power. Just the battery systems on their own are not enough.

“Mullewa this time around was less impacted as a townsite, because they have actually put a generator in town.

“Places like Dongara waited for the rest of the week to get its power on and I have constituents who will be without power for months.”

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