Authorities at odds over 'ridiculous' Greenfields street lighting situation

Blanketed in darkness from its lack of street lighting, Kirkpatrick Drive isn’t an inviting place to walk at night, and one resident has had enough.

Greenfields woman Angela McCallum said the street lighting had been broken for more than three years, a situation that was “ridiculous” and “simply not good enough”.

Ms McCallum said she used to use Kirkpatrick Drive and Exchequer Avenue frequently, but often changes her route because the road was too dangerous. 

During a cold and wet winter night in 2016, Ms McCallum said she almost killed a woman who was walking her dog along Kirkpatrick Drive. 

“It’s almost impossible to see anything when it’s raining,” she said.

“I just about smashed into a lady who was walking her dog in the rain.”

After that incident, Ms McCallum contacted the City of Mandurah and Western Power to see what could be done.

But the authorities were locked in a stalemate over who was responsible for fixing the street lights after two John Tonkin College students were almost electrocuted by a fallen power line in 2015.

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The students were hospitalised and a Western Power worker was sacked and was facing legal proccedings over the incident.

Charges: Two Mandurah school children received a massive electric shock from a fallen light pole. Photo: Brianna Johnson.

Charges: Two Mandurah school children received a massive electric shock from a fallen light pole. Photo: Brianna Johnson.

Ms McCallum said enough was enough and pleaded with authorities to fix the issue. 

She didn’t care who was to blame, she just wanted to see some action. 

“We pay our rates, why can’t they turn the bloody lights on,” Ms McCallum said. 

“This is not on. I just want those lights on. It’s dangerous.

“It’s a busy intersection. That’s one of my biggest concerns.”

Ms McCallum said she also held concerns for wildlife crossing the road, because of the dense vegetation on the adjacent blocks. 

Ms McCallum said kangaroos were frequently seen in the area and posed a risk to traffic travelling at night or in the early morning. She said the dense vegetation on the adjacent blocks meant wildlife were drawn to the area. Photo: Caitlyn Rintoul.

Ms McCallum said kangaroos were frequently seen in the area and posed a risk to traffic travelling at night or in the early morning. She said the dense vegetation on the adjacent blocks meant wildlife were drawn to the area. Photo: Caitlyn Rintoul.

A Western Power spokesman said the company shared the community’s concerns, but insisted the City of Mandurah was responsible for fixing the lights prior to 2018.

“The prolonged ownership dispute between the local council, Western Power and the original developer is leading to an unacceptable level of lighting for the community,” he said. 

“As the ownership issue was still unresolved, we made an offer mid-last year to take over future responsibility for the street lights to ensure that the public was not exposed to any potential safety risks.

“Recently we received acceptance from all parties for us to take over ownership of the street lights.

“This resolution means we will now transition the street lights into our systems to ensure the street lights, and the previously private network supporting them, can be accessed by our crews to operate and maintain appropriately.”

Work on the section of street lights would commence shortly, once an audit to identify the damage and needed repairs is made.

“We hold a firm view that before 2018 we never had ownership and therefore any responsibility for the repair and maintenance of the street lights on Kirkpatrick Drive, Greenfields,” the spokesman said. 

Blue indicates the section where the City of Mandurah believe they're responsible for lighting installation and the yellow section is where the City believe Western Power is responsible for installation. The red dot shows where the teenagers were injured in 2015. Photo: Google Maps.

Blue indicates the section where the City of Mandurah believe they're responsible for lighting installation and the yellow section is where the City believe Western Power is responsible for installation. The red dot shows where the teenagers were injured in 2015. Photo: Google Maps.

A City of Mandurah spokeswoman said prior to 2018 the local government was responsible for the installation of lights on Kirkpatrick Drive from Mandurah Road and Education Drive.

She also said Western Power held responsibility for the installation of lighting along Kirkpatrick Drive from Education Drive to Bortolo Drive prior to 2018. 

She said the delay in installation was due to the construction of the shopping complex nearby.