We have an obligation to clear any vegetation that poses a risk to our assets.
The Electricity Safety Act, including the Electrical Safety (Electric Line Clearance) regulations in 2015, requires us to meet certain minimum standards with regards to our vegetation management plans. This defines the clearance distances for trees and other vegetation need high voltage and low voltage powerlines.
We use laser imaging LiDAR technology captured by our aerial services which scan our entire network. These images show how close a piece of vegetation is to our poles and wires, with millimetres of accuracy.
These images are then put into our vegetation management system which creates 3D models. Cutting is then prioritised based on need and geographic location. Learn more about LiDAR here.
Typically, you will receive notification between 14 and 60 days prior to cutting on or near your property unless the cutting is deemed to be urgent. In that case, we may need to cut before we are able to notify you – to ensure that we are maintaining a safe and secure network.
The trees need to be cut in a certain way to maintain minimum distances – to ensure that as they grow back, they won’t pose an ongoing risk to the electrical assets they are near.
Some trees may look unusual once they’ve been cut. In all cases trees are cut in specific ways to keep the public safe, to keep the trees healthy and to ensure the network runs smoothly.
Once we have cut the vegetation to be safe, you’re welcome to conduct further trimming for aesthetic purposes.
A separate crew collects debris as the job requires different machinery.
We try our best to make sure that any debris from trimming is stored out of the way until the collection team can pick it up. Typically, field crews are able to collect debris within 10 days from the time of cutting.
If you feel that the required time between cutting and collection has passed, please get in contact with us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
We’ve compiled this handy guide to help you when planning for private or public garden spaces, but essentially:
- Place low growing species near to or under power lines and taller ones further away
- Trees need to be planted far enough away from powerlines that if they fall over, they won’t hit the lines
- The width of your plant is also important – ensure you allow 3 metres between the powerline and the widest part of the tree.