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 that aimed to understand our community's interests, develop a shared understanding of the need for managing trees growing under powerlines and near other infrastructure on our electricity network and help to improve the way Ausgrid performs this work in the future.
As a result of this work, Ausgrid has been provided with a number of recommendations about how to improve how we manage trees growing under powerlines, in particular our engagement and communication with key stakeholders and the community. We have accepted these recommendations and as part of their implementation, a working group is being established made up of a range of stakeholders.
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.
Between August and December 2016 the group will meet on four occasions for up to four hours to discuss and provide feedback. Nominations for the working group closed on Friday 15 July 2016, and the group held its first meeting on 18 August 2016.