West Coast councils want more information before supporting proposed SA Power Networks upgrades

Councils request more power upgrade information

West Coast councils are requesting more information before they can support SA Power Networks' (SAPN) proposed upgrades to reduce outages and improve some of the worst performing power lines.

The upgrades for 2020-25 were proposed by SAPN in April 2019, however were rejected in October by the Australian Energy Regulator.

Councils across the state, including some on Eyre Peninsula, have written to the AER in support of the SAPN proposal, although local councils were not as convinced.

Paul Roberts from SA Power Networks said the AER did not believe there was broad support for a reliability improvement upgrade, but SAPN resubmitted a revised plan in December because it believed those in worst-affected areas would support the move.

The plan was out for public consultation until January 15, with SAPN asking affected councils to write to the AER supporting the plan.

"We think there will be economic benefits...we've seen previously 60 per cent improvements in performance (on upgraded lines)," Mr Roberts said.

The work programs will cost about $30 million, 80c extra per household per year.

The upgrade plan aims to improve line reliability performance for 16,000 customers statewide, and reduce outage times for 50,000.

This includes 747 customers in the Ceduna District Council area, 468 customers in the Streaky Bay District Council area and 263 customers in the Elliston District Council area.

Ceduna District Council chief executive officer Geoff Moffatt said the council chose not to make any submission due to a lack of information provided.

"If they want support and to charge consumers extra, they should've provided council with more information," he said.

The Streaky Bay District Council made a submission, but chief executive officer Karina Ewer said they agreed there needed to be a more detailed plan.

"We wrote that we'd love our 1950s infrastructure upgraded, but we want to know how it will be upgraded and the cost to users," she said.

"We can't fully support it until we know more about it - there was no detail in it, just that we will upgrade."

Meanwhile, the Elliston District Council requested an extension past the January 15 deadline.

Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association president Sam Telfer said rural communities deserved a quality service level from electricity providers.

"If these works are to go ahead, they should help to strengthen the system in some of our less-reliable areas," he said.

The AER will make their decision in April for works beginning in July.


SA Power Networks' works program to upgrade low reliability is proposed for power lines in the following areas on Eyre Peninsula:

District Council of Tumby Bay area (66 customers)

  • Yaranyacka
  • Dixson
  • Butler

District Council of Lower Eyre Peninsula area (979 customers)

  • Yeelanna
  • Cockaleechie
  • Brooker
  • Stokes
  • Cummins
  • Wildeloo
  • Wangary
  • Bolingbroke
  • Peake Bay
  • Louth Bay

District Council of Elliston (263 customers)

  • Colton
  • Anxious Bay
  • Talia
  • Mount Damper
  • Polda
  • Witera
  • Port Kenny
  • Venus Bay

District Council of Ceduna (747 customers)

  • Ceduna
  • Goode
  • Mudamuckla
  • Carawa
  • Cohen
  • Penong

District Council of Cleve (355 customers)

  • Wharminda
  • Arno Bay
  • Roberts
  • Verran
  • Mann
  • Yadnarie
  • Campoona
  • Lock
  • Murlong
  • Tooligie
  • Murdinga
  • Cowan

District Council of Streaky Bay area (468 customers)

  • Wirrulla
  • Miltaburra
  • Perlubie
  • Streaky Bay
  • Chandada
  • Inkster
  • Petina
  • Carawa