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Electrical infrastructure upgrades for 10 remote Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley

Ten remote Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley have received upgrades to their electrical infrastructure under the $3.8m Aboriginal Community Embedded Networks project which aims to provide all West Australians with access to safe, modern and reliable power networks.

The upgrades were delivered as part of Horizon Power’s $75m Renew the Regions program, an initiative to create jobs and improve services in the regions under the State Government’s WA Recovery Plan.

As part of the upgrades, 53kW street lights were installed in communities to reduce operating costs and carbon emissions associated with older street lighting, while improving night-time visibility for vehicles and pedestrians.

Network ownership has also been transferred to Horizon, allowing it to take responsibility for infrastructure maintenance, customer service, power affordability and outages support for the small communities.

Horizon Power general operations manager Tiri Sanderson said the company was pleased to deliver real-world benefits to some of the State’s most remotely located residents.

“The legacy networks that these upgrades have replaced were not built to current standards,” she said.

“They were often in poor condition that resulted in an unreliable and sometimes unsafe power supply to the communities.

“These upgrades have been a long time coming and they will significantly improve how power is delivered to residents.

“They’ll also provide the same level of service to people living in these communities as is already enjoyed by our customers living in the nearby towns.”

The communities in the Kimberley included in the program are Emu Creek, Bell Springs, Mud Springs, Munthanmar, Koongie Park and Mardiwah Loop in the East Kimberley and Joy Springs, Karnparmi, Gillarong and Loanbun in the West Kimberley

The work has been well received by the communities with Karnparmi spokesperson Shane Skinner saying his community is very happy with the upgrades and new streetlights, and that residents were pleased that they could turn to Horizon Power for customer service and during power outages.

“Now we’ve got the Horizon Power app when we need to put credit on to our accounts, we can just go online and the app also keeps us updated on power outages and gives us all the information we need,” Mr Skinner said.

“When the power goes out, we can just sit back, be patient and wait for the Horizon mob.”

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