Vegetation management engagement program


Each year Ausgrid spends almost $40 million on managing vegetation around the electricity network. This essential maintenance helps ensure a safe and reliable power supply to homes and businesses across our network.

We also understand the important role trees play in our communities and the value our communities place on the visual amenity of their local streets. To help improve our services we undertook an engagement program to understand our community's interests, develop a shared understanding of the need for managing trees growing under powerlines and other infrastructure on the network and help to improve the way Ausgrid performs this work in the future.

As a result, Ausgrid has been provided with a number of recommendations about how to improve how we manage trees near the network, in particular our engagement and communication with key stakeholders and the community. We accepted these recommendations and as part of their implementation, a stakeholder working group was established. 

You can read the feedback report and recommendations from Aurecon, and Ausgrid's response, via the link on the right of this page.

About the working group

The vegetation management working group is made up of almost 40 stakeholders representing local councils, industry associations, government departments and community groups. It includes nine community members as well as representatives from local government areas including Parramatta, Burwood, Botany Bay, Cessnock, Canterbury-Bankstown, City of Sydney, Cumberland, Hornsby Shire, Hunters Hill, Inner West, Ku-ring-gai, Lake Macquarie, Mosman, Newcastle City, North Sydney, Northern Beaches, Port Stephens, Randwick, Strathfield, Sutherland, Willoughby and Woollahra; the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, Local Government NSW, Local Government Tree Resource Association, NSW Department of Planning and Environment, Arboriculture Australia, NSW Energy and Water Ombudsman and the Energy Networks Association.

The purpose of the group is to provide ongoing feedback and contribute to the development of a number of recommendations including:

  • a service charter 
  • an ongoing community engagement program to support vegetation management
  • documentation for the framework for assessing alternatives to tree trimming (typically these are submitted by councils)
  • a community notification process
  • a review of relevant policies and procedures guiding our vegetation management practices.



Notification trial

Engagement activities so far have shown us that our communities and customers would like to be notified about tree trimming work.

Currently tree trimming contractors notify by letter when they need to access private property or where they are trimming private trees.

Following community and stakeholder feedback, we initiated a notification trial in parts of Sydney’s Inner West in 2016 to determine the best way to inform customers.

This trial has been extended as we look to develop and formalise a notification process.

Under the extended trial, properties in the Ashfield area in Sydney’s Inner West will be notified about upcoming tree trimming work. A postcard will be delivered to letterboxes in the immediate area ahead of work starting. Properties on the same side of the street and in the same block as the trees that will be trimmed, will receive the notification.