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WA, Where Conflict of Interest is a Way of Life

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by PatB, May 11, 2012.

  1. Had a notice in the mail box when I got home yesterday. It was notifying me that a tree on my property has grown too close to my electrical service line and if I don't correct the problem within 30 days, Western Power will arrange for the work to be done and charged to me at..erm.....quite a bit more than market rates.

    I don't have a problem with this. I've had similar notices before, complied promptly and all's been well. In this case I've been watching the growth of the tree for a while and thinking I'd have to do something about it soon. Half an hour's fairly leisurely work this weekend will see the matter dealt with appropriately.

    No, my problem is this. Previously, the notices have been served by Western Power inspection crews who, you'd expect, are principally concerned with maintaining their infrastructure in a safe and reliable condition. All good :D.

    But this time, I note that the inspection was carried out and the notice served by ****** Tree Services, although the notice form itself is clearly an official WP publication.

    Now am I the only person cynical enough to entertain the possibility that giving a tree surgery company the power to issue notices which have some legal standing and require householders to have tree work done may not be an entirely watertight approach?

    As noted in the thread title, the whole concept of conflict of interest seems completely foreign to an awful lot of areas of WA business and government. This is just the latest example I've come across.
  2. I wonder which minister just happens to have 'Joe the tree surgeon' as a brother-in-law?

    Is this what you are suggesting? Cynicism is usually justified.....
  3. More that, having worked in a state government department, I never cease to be amazed by the number of public servants who see nothing wrong with putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank. Not because they are corrupt or have some expectation of personal gain but because it genuinely doesn't occur to them that the power might be exploited by those with a financial interest.
  4. I would hazard a guess that Western Power has outsourced the whole tree inspection service to ****** Tree Services. There are a number of reasons why they might do this, but the biggest is liability. The smaller the entity, the less it can be gouged by rapacious litigants or insurance companies. And it's someone else's problem.
  5. I can see the reasoning for outsourcing. Whilst I'm not a fan of the fashion for it over the past decade or two, there are reasonable arguments in its favour. Mind you, WP have been doing their own inspections without apparent problems since the year dot.

    My gripe here is not the outsourcing per se but the outsourcing to a company which has a fairly obvious and direct potential financial interest in the results of their own inspections.
  6. When i lived in perth (carlisle) our power was knocked out by the tree in our yard taking out ther line from the street pole to the house. Rang the power mob, they sent out a crew and trimmed the tree and got power connected. no charge. because the line was the other side of the meter it was explained that it was their responsibility to reconnect in a safe manner. Must have changed as this was a few years ago.