Nationals WA MPs Paul Brown MLC, Shane Love MLA and Martin Aldridge MLC hosted a community meeting in Kalbarri last week to hear community views on the impact of power outages routinely experienced in the town. "Kalbarri has been a long-suffering edge-of-grid community, with power outages occurring regularly and usually at periods of peak tourism demand, which impacts negatively on tourism, the business community and residents," Mr Love said.
"It was important to host the meeting with my Nationals colleagues and Western Power representatives so we could get an understanding of the challenges that power issues place on the community and work towards a long-term solution."
The meeting was well attended by a cross section of the community, including Northampton Shire councillors, and many vented frustrations about a power outage on January 23 that lasted eleven hours.
Western Power representatives spoke at length on the difficulties of supplying a reliable power source to edge-of-grid communities.
They also explained that the Northampton feeder line is one of 13 focus areas for Western Power within the South West Interconnected System, and work had already started to identify and fix problem areas along the line.
Western Power expects these works to greatly improve reliability of power supply.
The Kalbarri community called on Western Power and the State Government to work together to provide a permanent solution to power reliability issues in its town.
"I see this meeting as the starting point, a fundamental building block towards advocating for a permanent solution," Mr Brown said.
"Community engagement is the key.
"The community needs to be engaged by Western Power on a regular basis and involved in planning for a long-term solution.
Mr Brown and Mr Love said they would continue to support the Kalbarri community’s engagement in future planning processes.