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Ausgrid’s Bushfire Hazard Inspections of private poles set to commence

Public Notices 23/04/2020

In preparation for the start of the 2020 bushfire season in September, Ausgrid is starting the important bushfire hazard inspection program this month.

Recent months have shown us how dangerous bushfires can be and Ausgrid is committed to ensuring we do as much as we can to prevent bushfires. 

In the past bushfire season alone, NSW lost 25 lives, more than 5.5 million hectares of land burnt (equivalent to 6.2% of the state) and 2,448 homes were destroyed. To help reduce the risk of bushfires starting, Ausgrid carries out inspections of the electricity network to ensure it’s in good shape and rectify any potential bushfire hazards before the bushfire season starts.

As part of this program, Ausgrid’s ground crews and contractors will be inspecting >42,000 private privately-owned poles on properties that fall within ‘bushfire prone’ areas across the Hunter, Central Coast, Port Stephens, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Sydney.

Property owners will soon receive letters informing them Ausgrid contractors plan to inspect their private mains, which includes privately-owned poles, pole-top fittings and overhead powerlines.
The letter reminds property owners of their responsibilities to inspect, maintain and fix the poles, pole-top fittings and powerlines on their property. This responsibility also includes ensuring their trees, branches and other vegetation are kept a safe distance from these electrical assets.

If Ausgrid identifies bushfire hazards on their property, we will issue a ‘defect notice’ that details what work is needed to rectify these hazards and the timeframe they need to act in. It is then their responsibility to arrange, and pay for, an appropriately qualified and licensed contractor to complete the work.

For more information visit Ausgrid's Private Poles and Powerlines page for more information.

Ausgrid’s Bushfire Hazard inspection of Ausgrid’s network

As part of Ausgrid’s Bushfire Hazard inspection program, specialist crews will also be inspecting Ausgrid’s own network, including high-voltage powerlines.

So, in coming weeks, residents across parts of Port Stephens, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Central Coast, Hunter and Sydney regions may notice low flying helicopters as these crews begin their annual aerial patrols. Detailed programming will be available later this month. Crews will be in the air between 7.30am and 5.30pm (weather permitting) inspecting Ausgrid’s network, so property owners may need to consider securing livestock during these patrols.

The helicopters fly between 25 and 40 kilometres per hour and have been modified to allow for the quietest possible operation, but they may fly low at times, which can startle animals in rural areas.

While the inspections will be predominately undertaken by helicopter, some inspections will be performed by a SUV mounted LiDAR unit.   Inspection details are being finalised however they are expected to start during April and go through till July. We will keep you up-to-date when final details are confirmed.

Addition information and enquiries

Please visit Ausgrid’s Private Poles and Powerlines page, review the additional fact sheets below or call the Ausgrid customer team on 13 65 65.

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