Thursday, 27 October 2016 14:58

Tree trimming consultation part of wider review

Tree with branch removed. Tree with branch removed. iStock

WSROC attended a community consultation regarding street tree trimming run by energy provider Ausgrid this month.

The consultation is part of a wider effort by WSROC to work with councils, energy providers and the federal government to look at how tree trimming practices can be improved across the region.

The management of street trees under power lines is a complex issue with shared responsibility between councils and their energy providers.

Under the Electricity Supply Act 1995, Section 48, energy providers such as Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy are responsible for maintaining adequate clearance between trees and power lines, for ensuring the safety of the community, and for maintaining a safe and continuous electricity supply to customers.

However, these safety requirements must also be balanced with social, environmental and economic considerations including the need to:

-          Protect the health of street trees, which are council and community assets;

-          Protect bio-diversity and habitat for native species;

-          Consider different requirements for different tree species;

-          Maintain aesthetically pleasing streetscapes in accordance with community expectations; and

-          Regulate the cost and time taken for tree trimming activities.

WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “It is important that councils and energy providers work together, in consultation with the community to get this balance right.

“WSROC commends Ausgrid’s efforts to involve a range of stakeholders and community members in the development of its new Vegetation Management Service Charter,” he said.

“It is important to get these guiding documents right to ensure that the expectations of our community and the health of street trees are met.

“Issues such as improper pruning and poor tree species selection not only have a negative impact on the look of our streets, but increase the overall costs to councils and communities,” said Cr Bali.

 

Further information:

Ausgrid Tree Management Plan (2015) 

Ausgrid Vegetation Management Engagement Program

Endeavour Energy Tree Management Plan (2015) 

Last modified on Monday, 31 October 2016 12:39