Prudent avoidance

Prudent avoidance was a policy recommended by former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, Sir Harry Gibbs. It was a recommendation of an inquiry he conducted into the problems faced by the electricity industry in relation to EMF back in 1991.

He defined prudent avoidance as doing what can be done without undue inconvenience and at modest expense to avert the possible risk to health from exposure to new high voltage transmission facilities. In practical terms this means that when designing new transmission and distribution facilities, consideration should be given to practicable low cost measures that can reduce EMF exposure.

The findings and recommendations contained in the Gibbs Report are consistent with subsequent inquiries and are as relevant today as they were in 1991. These recommendations are consistent with the positions adopted by the the Energy Networks Association and Ausgrid.