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Private power pole inspection

Private power pole inspection

Following the judgement given in July 2021 by the Supreme Court of Western Australia, relating to the Parkerville fire, Western Power will be inspecting private power poles that are directly connected to its network. Court processes are ongoing, which may further define responsibilities for these inspections.

You are responsible for inspecting and maintaining all subsequent poles on your property.

Please be aware that depending on your configuration there may be private power poles on your property which are not directly connected to our network. You are responsible for inspecting these poles.

As the property owner, you are responsible and accountable for all privately owned poles on your property. Once we’ve inspected the first private power pole, we’ll notify you if maintenance or replacement is required, and who you need to contact to complete the work.

Depending on the condition of the pole, you’ll have either 30 or 90 days to replace it or we may advise to undertake this work in the future.

More information about private power poles can be found on the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety website

As soon as you receive your notice, it’s best to get in contact with a local electrical contractor to come and assess the work that needs to be done to make your pole safe. This may involve remediation work such as pole reinforcement through to full pole replacement. Your electrical contractor will provide you a quote to undertake the work.

Be mindful of timeframes outlined in your notice. Contacting a qualified electrical contractor as soon as you receive your notice will ensure that work is completed before the end of the notice period and will make sure you avoid any service interruptions.

Depending on the condition of the pole, you’ll have either 30 or 90 days to replace it. You'll need to engage a licensed electrician to replace your pole with one compliant to Australian Standards within the advised timeframe otherwise for safety reasons we’ll need to disconnect your property until the installation is made safe.

We’ll visually inspect the first private pole on your property and if safe we’ll dig around the base to check the condition of the pole below ground level. We don't anticipate an electricity outage will be required but if we find your power pole is in an immediately dangerous condition, we’ll need to disconnect the property to maintain safety.

We’ll need to access your property to inspect your pole. If we need your help to access the pole (e.g. opening locked gates or ensuring animals don’t escape the property), please let us know and we'll do our best to contact you before the inspection to arrange a time convenient for you.

If you need to provide us access to your property or if you have any questions about this work please call 13 10 87 (TIS: 13 14 50 or TIY: 1800 13 13 51) or use our contact form.

There is no cost for us to inspect the first private pole on your property, however as you are responsible for it, any maintenance or replacement we’ll need to be arranged by you at your expense. If the pole isn't replaced and we have to disconnect you, there will be a reconnection fee.

Yes, if you wish to replace your pole with an underground service connection, we can discuss your requirements and work with you on an expected delivery date depending on the complexity of your unit.

We suggest you apply as soon as you receive your notice to ensure the work is carried out prior to the end of your notice period. Please advise us that you have received a private power pole replacement notice at the point of application.  

Any costs associated with this replacement will be incurred by the homeowner.

If the private power pole outlined in the notice is shared by neighbouring properties both property owners are responsible for its maintenance. We advise you to contact your neighbours to agree on a course of action to make your shared private poles safe.

If you’re a tenant at your property and receive a notice, forward it to your landlord or property manager. The private power pole is likely to be their responsibility to maintain depending on the terms of your tenancy arrangement.

If the poles are made of sawn timber, they should be replaced immediately. Sawn timber cannot be used to support power lines because of the high risk of deterioration and early failure. Regardless of the current condition of a sawn timber pole you will be issued with a replacement notice if there is one on your property. This is to ensure the safety of your property and the community.

Here are some common issues that will result in us issuing a defect notice for your private power pole:

  • Termite related damage
  • Rot, splitting, fire damage or cracks in wooden poles and cross arms
  • Excessive leaning or instability of the pole
  • Rusting/corrosion of metal poles, lattice/tripod structures, cross arms or attachments
  • Physical damage of the pole, e.g. via impact, which affects structural integrity
  • Sawn timber poles (generally square section, often untreated) are not suitable for power poles as they are more prone to rot and structural deterioration

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