A long-term program to recommence undergrounding power in Darwin suburbs has been announced.

Planning and design work will begin immediately with $5 million in funding, and construction works are expected to begin in 2018/19 supported by additional funding of $10 million per annum.

Northern Territory Government Treasurer, Nicole Manison, said, “This investment will create on-going local jobs and help build resilience in the power networks from top-end from the cyclones and the wet season.

“As a result of Cyclone Marcus, approximately 28,000 homes were left without power, some for weeks. This was due to overhead powerlines being damaged by winds, trees and debris.

“Schools and businesses were also unable to open which left Territorians out of pocket.”

Total cost to underground power – which will occur progressively around Darwin – will be around $290 million.

Since the late 1970s, all new urban residential developments have been required to have underground power. These include all Palmerston suburbs and all newer Darwin suburbs.

There are 13 Darwin suburbs that still have above ground powerlines, including Stuart Park, The Gardens, Parap, Fannie Bay, Larrakeyah, Nakara, Wagaman, Jingili, Alawa, The Narrows, Moil, Coconut Grove and Ludmilla.

Ms Manison said Power and Water Corporation will assess and determine the best way to deliver the undergrounding power program to target where the the most resilience can be built into the power networks.

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