The Great Southern is set to be the beneficiary of a power line maintenance program co-ordinated by Western Power. In a bid to prevent pole top fires and power outages during upcoming harvests, Western Power will treat 12,732 power poles across 11 shires in the State. Great Southern shires who will benefit from the treatment program are the Shires of Katanning, Broomehill-Tambellup, Gnowangerup, Jerramungup, Kent and Lake Grace. Executive manager asset operations Zane Christmas said the washing and siliconing program would help areas where pollution, such as dust during harvest periods can affect infrastructure. We have a comprehensive program in place to mitigate the risk of pole top fires including insulator replacements, as well as high-pressure washing of insulators, and siliconing,” Mr Christmas said. “Now that we’ve established a safe and efficient way of washing live distribution lines using helicopters, we’ve engaged Aeropower to treat more than 12,700 insulators across the South West Interconnected Network,” he said. “The work is undertaken in two phases. In phase one, insulators are sprayed with demineralised water, and in phase two the helicopter returns to apply the silicone.” Following a successful trial undertaken last year, Western Power has engaged electrical services specialists Aeropower to carry out the live line treatment. Western Power is set to begin work in the Great Southern in October but information will be provided to communities when work is taking place in targeted areas. Other shires who will benefit from the scheme include the City of Great Geraldton, and the Shires of Irwin, Ravensthorpe and Mingenew. Work is scheduled to be fully completed by June 2024.