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Ward off Climate Change

About the author

Gary Warden was raised in the Perth Hills. After graduating from the University of Western Australia with a degree in Geology, Gary joined BHP Billiton where he spent 18 years working in a variety of roles in a number of locations around the world. Prior to leaving BHP Billiton in December 2006, Gary was Global Manager for the company's US$1Billion business improvement program.

While he was originally sceptical about the claims relating to climate change, he became convinced of the urgency of the issue in early 2006. He left BHP Billiton primarily to spend more time with his young family, but also to dedicate himself to creating a more sustainable life for himself and his family and to support others in making that change.

In September 2007 he was trained by Al Gore and has delivered the "Inconvenient Truth" lectures to thousands of west australians since then. In November 2007 Gary ran for the senate in the Federal Election representing the Climate Change Coalition.

In addition to his climate change lectures, he has facilitated Living Smart workshops across Perth. Between 2008 and 2009 he was on the Executive Committee of the Conservation Council of Western Australia including one year as Vice President.

Gary co-founded and is Executive Director of the very exciting Days of Change program, one of the largest sustainability programs in Australia and is now General Manager WA for Eco-Kinetics, one of the largest Solar PV companies in Australia and subsidiary of ASX-listed CBD Energy.

Hills’ Property Values Threatened by Western Power Substation

By Jacinta Goerke 

HILLS’ residents can expect their property values to drop should Western Power push through their proposed eastern terminal substation in the Kalamunda forest.

The proposed substation, likely to be constructed in Hackett’s Gully, has been on Western Power’s agenda for at least 18 years [1]although hills’ people have no idea what the substation will look like nor the impact it will have on their lives.

Long-term hills’ resident, geologist and climate change specialist Mr Gary Warden said the proposed substation, towers and transmission lines will require the ultimate clearing of at least 400 hectares which is equivalent to the size of Kings Park[2].

“This will involve the clearing of 20 hectares [3]of land for the construction of the proposed substation followed by removing a further 400 hectares of forest to make way for 14 corridors comprising large towers and high voltage power lines,” said Mr Warden.

“Ultimately, the substation and its associated corridors of towers and lines over Perth hills will look like a spider web[4] and detract from the natural beauty of the area,” said Mr Warden.

Mr Warden said Western Power documents state the initial development in Hacketts Gully would be noticeable from Piesse Brook and the Mundaring Weir Road tourist drive.

“However additional power lines and towers could extend over Perth hills in 14 different directions,” he said.

“Affected suburbs are likely to be Lesmurdie, Kalamunda, Carmel, Walliston, Forrestfield, Gooseberry Hill, Maidavale, High Wycombe, Piesse Brook, Pickering Brook, Bickley, Helena Valley, Mundaring, Sawyers Valley, Pauls Valley, and Darlington[5],” said Mr Warden.

Mr Warden said a number of residents suggested the lines be sunk, but sinking the power lines was neither technically feasible nor appropriate because forest would still need to be removed.

Mr Warden said what shocks residents is not only what Western Power plans to do in the next few years, but what is on its agenda for the next ten to 20 years. 

“The hills and state forest will eventually be a mass of towers and lines that will adversely affect property values and the livelihood of plant and animal species.”

Journalist: Jacinta Goerke
Researchers: Toni Warden, Gary Warden