Essential Energy contractors have been carrying out vegetation management near powerlines in the Tilba area since late June to ensure the ongoing safety and reliability of the local electricity network.
Regional manager Southern, Steven Ilitch said the vegetation program aimed to strike a balance between preserving trees in the area and ensuring power safety and reliability for the local community.
“Essential Energy’s priority is a safe and reliable electricity network and vegetation management is crucial to maintaining this,” Mr Ilitch said. “Trees coming into contact with overhead powerlines pose serious hazards to people, wildlife and the surrounding environment. The potential for bushfires, property damage, injury and unplanned power outages are all relevant risks to public safety.”
Essential Energy’s cyclical vegetation management program ensures minimum safety clearances are maintained between trees and overhead powerlines and helps to minimise the trimming required in the future, while also maintaining a reliable power supply.
Works are being undertaken by contractors who are qualified in all aspects of vegetation management and, where possible, in compliance with the Australian Standard AS 4373 ‘Pruning of Amenity Trees’.
“Our contractors use directional pruning techniques that remove branches growing towards a powerline and encourage re-growth away from the power network,” Mr Ilitch said.
“This often requires trees to be trimmed to the nearest growth point beyond the minimum safety clearance. Over time, this will allow for vegetation re-growth, as required by regulations. While this can affect visual amenity, these techniques are considered best practice throughout the arboriculture industry and are used by most power companies in Australia.”
Customers are encouraged to report vegetation growing too close to the electricity network to Essential Energy on 13 20 80.
Weather permitting, the vegetation program will conclude in late August.