Western Power avoids huge payout after man claims he’s owed $19m over power line

Hannah CrossSound Telegraph
Western Power took an easement over the land to install a transmission line.
Camera IconWestern Power took an easement over the land to install a transmission line. Credit: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

Western Power has avoided a hefty compensation payout after a man failed in his bid to claim $19 million as “appropriate compensation” for the installation of a powerline on his land.

Mark James Bombara, owner of a third of a plot of land owned by his family, claimed he should be paid millions in compensation after Western Power took an easement on his land in October 2003.

While Western Power originally offered Mr Bombara upwards of $40,000 in 2008, he rejected the claim.

Per the Land Act 1997, Western Power was forced to take the matter to the State Administrative Tribunal.

Mr Bombara claimed his land should be zoned as an urban area as it had been flagged in the past as having potential for urban development, therefore placing a higher value on compensation for use of the land.

While his lawyer argued $166,971 in compensation was payable, Mr Bombara told the tribunal the appropriate compensation would be $19 million plus costs.

He said he felt “cheated by the system” and that Western Power’s conduct had caused him “considerable distress and inconvenience”.

But SAT Senior member Dr Stephen Willey earlier this month found the land in question to be valued as rural land, not urban, and that Western Power must therefore pay Mr Bombara $18,088 in compensation, less than half of the original offer in 2008.

The total amount of compensation owed to the Bombara family was $54,263.

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