Essential Energy is reminding property owners to look up when clearing vegetation near the overhead electricity network following recent incidents of machinery bringing trees down onto powerlines.
Regional manager Northern, Mark Summers, said several tree felling incidents involving bulldozers and excavators had been reported in the last month during clearing activities on properties.
“Vegetation coming into contact with powerlines can pose a threat to public safety, cause power outages and increase the bushfire risk for local communities,” Mark said.
“We recommend assessing the risks thoroughly before beginning any vegetation clearing on your property.
“If there’s any doubt as to which way a tree will fall or a risk of vegetation contacting the network, contact Essential Energy on 13 23 91 for further advice.”
Operators of chainsaws, bulldozers or excavators are advised to keep at least three metres from the electricity network when undertaking clearance work.
“If vegetation is encroaching on this safe clearance distance or overhanging powerlines, contact Essential Energy to arrange an inspection or employ a qualified arborist to carry out the work,” Mark said.
“If vegetation inadvertently contacts the network, stay at least eight metres away and don’t attempt to remove the tree or its foliage. Always assume that powerlines are live and callEssential Energy immediately on 13 20 80.”
Essential Energy encourages landholders to report vegetation growing in close proximity to powerlines by calling 13 23 91 or logging a vegetation hazard online at:essentialenergy.com.au/trees.