Excerpt from article by ACTEW AGL
Trees and vegetation growing too close to powerlines and other utility infrastructure can cause blackouts, create safety hazards such as grass fires and bushfires, and increase the risk of electrocution. Trees, vegetation and other obstructions can also restrict access to utility infrastructure, preventing essential maintenance from being carried out.
Overhead infrastructure includes powerlines, power poles, overhead cables, and so on.
Four important things to remember
- Land owners and occupiers are obliged to keep trees and other vegetation, built structures and permanent landscaping features on their properties clear of powerlines and other utility infrastructure.
- Trees and other vegetation growing near powerlines and other utility infrastructure, as well as other potential obstructions (natural or built) must not come within the minimum clearances.
- Only ActewAGL-accredited tree surgeons are authorised to work in close proximity to powerlines.
- In the event that you experience an electricity outage, planned or otherwise, on no account should you treat overhead powerlines as de-energised and safe for tree trimming or any other purpose.
Be aware that you may still have legal obligations regarding building and access requirements even if the relevant infrastructure is located adjacent to your block and not within your property’s boundaries. Minimum distances still apply.
It is the responsibility of all landowners and occupiers to ensure there are no interferences to utility infrastructure. If you engage a draftsperson, builder, architect or landscaper, the landowner is still held responsible if they fail to comply with minimum clearance or damage ActewAGL’s infrastructure. Make sure they include these checks in your project.
If you have a privately-owned power pole on your property you are responsible for ensuring that it meets appropriate safety standards.