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EXCLUSIVE: Al the Owl talks tough on drongos

Al the Owl is here to ruffle some feathers.

“There’s too many drongos just wingin’ it when it comes to working safely around electricity,” says Al.

“I’ve been working around the live stuff for years. When it goes wrong, it ain’t pretty.”

Al has stepped out of the shadows for the first time as the face of our new 360 Aware safety campaign, which targets industries most at risk of making contact with the electricity network.

“When Western Power first called me to help out, I was on board from day one.

“They told me there’s been about 30 drongos every month drilling, digging and tipping into powerlines – and most of those incidents could have been avoided just by paying more attention before they start work.

“I’ve got a 100% safety record, cos I always look up, look down and look aaaaaall around before I start a job.”

To help Al spread the word, we have prepared safety information and advice for the industries that contribute most to third party contact with the network: building and construction, excavation, transport, vegetation, and farming and agriculture.

Al knows the message might be hard for some to hear, but it’s essential to prevent injury, loss of income or worse.

“Sometimes you’ve got to say it like it is in order to get people to listen, especially those that think ‘nah, she’ll be right’.

“When working around the live stuff, you can’t take those chances.”

You will see a lot more of Al over the coming months as he spreads his wings to help reduce third party contact with the electricity network.

“Remember folks, I just want you to be safe.

“Before anything risky, look 360.”

See the world from Al’s perspective and take his 360 degree tour.

This is the first in our exclusive interview series with Al the Owl. Keep checking back for more straight-shooting from Al.

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Kalgoorlie storm response

Update 19 November 2017 - 6.30pm

We have restored electricity to about 3,000 customers in the Kalgoorlie-Boulder area since the wild storms that struck the Goldfields yesterday.

We have eight extra specialist crews in the region working into the night to restore power as safely and as quickly possible to our other 14,000 customers currently without electricity.

Further restorations are expected this evening, but people - especially those with an individual connection wire from their house to the network that has been brought down by debris - should be preparing for a night without power.

In some limited cases those individual customers may be without power for several days more until connections can be repaired and tested and declared safe by authorised specialists.

Four 500kVA Western Power Emergency Generators will be used to assist in restoration and other critical infrastructure when it is safe to do so. Two nursing homes have had power restored with the use of generators.

We are continuing to focus efforts on lines that can restore power and services to critical infrastructure and large numbers of customers in an attempt to return power as quickly and as safely to as many people as possible.

The priority areas for our crews at the moment are in Coolgardie, Kambalda, Boulder, Lionel West , Somerville and Picadilly South, the central business district and Hannan and Porter Streets in Kalgoorlie.

Over 173 hazards were registered with Western Power which has been reduced substantially but there are still a number of hazards left to attend, and our crews are discovering more hazards as they move through the network frustrating our progress.

If you see a fallen powerline or damaged pole call make the safe call to Western Power on 13 13 51 or if it is a life-threatening emergency, please call 000.

Power outage map for restoration times.