As a result of questions raised by members concerned with power lines and infrastructure, WAFarmers CEO Stephen Brown recently had a meeting with electrical authorities in relation to several issues. They discussed the restitution that may occur when Western Power property is damaged by someone such as a farmer or their staff.
For example, hitting or bringing down a power pole may cause a loss of power to other properties and businesses on the network. If these properties or businesses suffer a loss as a result of the damage they potentially have the legal right to seek compensation, in this instance from the farmer. While it may not be a lot of money per claim, a large number of claims could arise and total a surprising amount.
Furthermore, imagine if you had a mining company at the end of your line and you knocked out the power for 3 days. How much would this loss cost?
“As an electricity provider Western Power‘s primary commitment is to the safety of our workforce, our customers and anyone working near our network,” a spokesperson for Western Power said.
“In the unfortunate event that our property such as poles was damaged, we would undertake a thorough investigation into what occurred before commencing any further action.
“As is standard business practice, Western Power reserves its rights to recover our costs for any repairs.”
The value of such claims can include damaged equipment due to voltage spikes, outages causing damaged stock and loss of profit, but this is likely to vary depending on the particular incident. Consequently, if you have Western Power infrastructure running through your property, WAFarmers encourage farmers and rural businesses to check with their insurers, or their insurance broker, to ascertain if, in the event of such an incident, they are fully covered.