A big part of keeping you safe, and minimising interruptions to your electricity, is the careful management of trees and other vegetation near power lines.
Every year we update our Vegetation Management Plans to comply with the Electricity Safety Act.
If pruning and cutting vegetation is necessary, we notify affected landowners.
You can help reduce the risk of bushfire and faults caused by vegetation coming into contact with electricity assets by considering the types of bushes and trees you plant around powerlines. We’ve compiled this handy guide to help you when planning your garden or the surrounding environment.
Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) is the government agency responsible for electrical safety issues, and ensuring electricity companies like ourselves meet our responsibilities around vegetation management. The Electricity Safety Line Clearance Regulations can be found on the ESV website here.
Vegetation Management FAQ
Trees and other large plants (vegetation) are the single greatest cause of bushfire and faults around electrical assets. We take your safety and the security of your electricity supply seriously and need to ensure that our electrical assets are operating properly. To do this we have an obligation to clear any vegetation that may pose a risk.
The Electricity Safety Act, including the introduction of the Electrical Safety (Electric Line Clearance) regulations in 2015, requires us to meet certain minimum standards with regards to our vegetation management plans. Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) is the government agency responsible for electrical safety issues, and ensuring network companies like ourselves meet our responsibilities
Our annual cutting schedule is determined by regulatory obligations, vegetation growth, and other factors. Typically, you will receive a physical 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. If that happens we will leave a notification for you, post cutting.
It is a separate crew that collects debris than the team that trims because different machinery is required for each job.
We try our best to make sure that any debris from trimming is stored out of the way until we can return to collect it and 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 use arborists and contract with specialist firms who are subject matter experts at cutting vegetation to meet our regulatory obligations. We have to maintain certain minimum distances to ensure that even as trees and vegetation grow back, they don’t pose ongoing risk to the electrical assets they are near.
Once we have cut the vegetation to be safe, you are welcome to conduct further trimming for aesthetic purposes.
We use Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology to take photos and survey our powerlines and other electrical assets. These photos are put into our Vegetation Management System and cutting is then prioritised based on need and geographic location.