Port Hacking powerline crossing project

Picture of Port Hacking bay

 Ausgrid is planning to raise the height of the 11,000 volt powerlines that cross the Port Hacking River from Burraneer to Maianbar. This will require new, taller poles on either side of the River.

Project need

The height increase is required to bring the crossing into line with the latest compliance code, i.e. Electricity Cable crossings of NSW Navigable Waters: Roads and Maritime Services. This will ensure safe passage for large vessels while maintaining a reliable power supply for the community.

As there are no bridges crossing the river, there is nothing limiting the rig height of vessels navigating this waterway. A yacht’s mast has previously struck the live wires.

Ausgrid has decided that the best way to avoid a repeat incident is to raise the height of the powerlines to 22 metres to meet the Code requirements.

Planning the new powerline crossing

New pole options
Two options for the new poles on either side of the river were presented to communities in Burraneer and Maianbar via a community newsletter (see right) and at community sessions held in early August 2016. Both options would be made of galvanised steel and could be painted another colour e.g. dark green.

Single pole option
The single pole option would involve installing a single 36 metre steel pole embedded 4 metres into the ground at Burraneer and at Maianbar. With a single pole, the three conductors (wires) are attached in a vertical orientation. The lowest conductor (wire) would be the same height as the option outlined below, with the other two conductors (wires) attached above. This is why these poles would be two metres higher. 

Three pole option
This option was to install three 33 metre steel poles embedded 3 metres into the ground next to existing poles at Burraneer and at Maianbar. The new cables would be installed and connected to the new poles in the same horizontal orientation as to what currently exists. 

Photo montages and details describing how the options would look are in the community newsletter, which can be downloaded via the link on the side of this page.

Following community feedback and further planning, Ausgrid is planning to proceed with the single pole option. 



Project status

Ausgrid's planning has included engaging with communities in  Burraneer and Maianbar on the potential pole configurations.  Following this engagement and after further project planning, Ausgrid is proceeding with the single pole option.

An environmental assessment is currently being prepared. Once the assessment is complete and the project approved for construction, Ausgrid will be in touch with the surrounding community with a notification outlining when the work is planned to start and what to expect during construction.

Project approval process and environmental assessment

Ausgrid is the approving authority for these works under the NSW Planning and Assessment Act. The approval process will consider the environmental assessment and consultation with the community, Council and government authorities such as Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).

An environmental assessment is being prepared to reflect the single pole option. The assessment will consider the project’s potential impacts and outline measures to minimise these impacts on the environment. Following the completion of the assessment, the project being approved for construction and the community being notified of what to expect during works, the project is planned to start.

Community involvement

Initially Ausgrid's planning focused on the pole configurations that would provide a cable crossing of the Port Hacking River between Burraneer to Maianbar.  The first community newsletter which be downloaded via the link on the right side of this page contains information about the different pole options and details of the information sessions that were held on 1 August at Burraneer and on 2 August at Maianbar. 

Following consultation with the communities at Burraneer and Maianbar and after further project planning, Ausgrid has decided to proceed with the single pole option. A summary of the feedback (see summary on the right hand side of the page) has been prepared. The summary report details the engagement process so far including how community feedback has been considered as part of the project process. 

Ausgrid will continue to keep the community informed as the design works proceeds and before construction is planned to start. You can also get in touch with us at any time with questions or concerns via the project contacts provided on this web page. 

What to expect during construction

There would be temporary local impacts during construction. The local community will receive more detailed information once the plans are finalised, but there are some typical parts to the work explained below.

General site impacts
A number of work crews would be working on the project during the construction period. Like any construction work there will be noise and dust, and temporary traffic and parking disruptions, especially when the poles and new powerlines are being installed. We would work to minimise these as much as possible.

Vegetation around the existing poles would need to be cleared to allow for the installation of a new pole or poles.

Maintenance platform at Maianbar
This work would involve the upgrade of the existing road side parking bay at 47 Pacific Crescent with a stronger structure and construction of steps to the lower part of the site.

Pole installation
Poles of the type proposed come in sections and would be installed by a crane. The old poles would be removed once the new poles are installed. The installation of the new conductors (wires) would also require a crane. These activities would cause temporary traffic impacts east of our site at 47 Pacific Crescent. We will work closely with residents to minimise disruption.

Power outages
In Maianbar, power outages would be required but we will let those affected know about these in advance.