Vegetation clearing requirements for new powerlines

If you have requested the installation of a powerline extension to your property, any vegetation clearance (including tree trimming/clearing) must be completed as detailed in this sheet.

As your electricity distributor, Powercor’s role is to provide you and your community with a reliable power supply. To make this possible, a vegetation-free envelope must be provided around all powerlines. Powercor endeavours to limit the need for vegetation clearing when building new lines. However, some clearing may be necessary to minimise potential interruptions to supply, maintain public safety, and prevent bushfires.

Powercor does not provide a vegetation clearing service and the cost of vegetation clearing is not included in any Connection Agreement that you may have entered into with Powercor. Vegetation clearance works for your powerline extension will be at your expense.

You will be required to arrange and pay for any necessary tree clearing, treatment of stumps, and removal of all debris along the route of the proposed powerline, including road reserves and property crossings. You must not commence vegetation clearing until the final powerline route is approved by Powercor and you have obtained all appropriate permits.

This page details your responsibilities.

Vegetation clearing guidelines

The typical clearance applied to new high voltage powerlines is a 20 metre clearance corridor being 10 metres on each side of the proposed powerline. All Vegetation clearances must comply with the “Powerline Clearance Standard for New Overhead Powerlines”. Examples of Powercor tree clearance requirements are shown below.
 

Typical Vegetation Clearance for new high voltage powerlines – Rural areas
 

* Stumps removed or appropriately treated with herbicide to prevent regrowth.

This standard is based on the “The Electricity Safety (Electric Line Clearance) Regulations” and also includes additional clearances to account for regrowth into the clearance space between future Powercor pruning programs.

Note: These distances may be increased or reduced based on a technical assessment by Powercor and confirmed in the final approved powerline design. Factors considered in this assessment include the length of extra-long spans, proximity of commercial tree plantations, location of additional poles, and the use of insulating conductor.

Permit to clear vegetation

Contact your shire or council for permit/consent requirements. The shire/council may forward your application to other responsible authorities such as the Department of Environment and Primary Industries.

Permits from responsible authorities will almost certainly be required for removal of native vegetation and for trees on road reserves and crown land. Permit conditions often apply to private property. Obtaining these permits is your responsibility.

Safe work practices – use suitably qualified people

Any tree clearing on roadsides and public land shall be undertaken by suitably qualified and insured contractors. On your property, Powercor recommends the use of professionals for the trimming and removal of trees. Qualified personnel are required to comply with the safe practice guideline “Working safely with trees – recommended practices for the amenity tree industry“ available from the Victorian Workcover Authority Website www.workcover.vic.gov.au

You can refer to your local professionals under “Tree Felling and Removal” in the Yellow Pages Directory. For your safety, do not cut trees near existing powerlines.

Pruning and care of trimmed trees

In caring for the health of trees, pruning should be done in accordance with “Australian Standard AS4373-2007 Pruning of Amenity Trees” where practicable.  The standard is available from www.standards.com.au

Stump removal

Where trees are removed, stumps must be removed or cut flush to ground level and treated with herbicide to prevent regrowth. This ensures safe and unrestricted vehicle access by Powercor and emergency services vehicles and minimises the potential for tyre damage.

Small trees or scrub growth

Immature trees of species growing taller than four metres (such as acacias or eucalypts) must be removed from the clearance area and the stumps treated with herbicide. Foliage spraying with a herbicide is acceptable for low level scrub.

Removal of debris

Leaves and branches must be cleared from the powerline easement. Burning of debris will normally require shire/council and/or fire authority approval. Do not stack and burn debris directly beneath powerlines.

Powercor approval

Powercor will confirm all vegetation clearance works are in accordance with all requirements prior to approving the commencement of construction of the new powerline.
It is important you do not begin vegetation clearing until you have:

  • Confirmed the final route of the proposed electricity line with Powercor
  • Determined the appropriate vegetation clearance distances required to be established for your specific powerline route and design
  • Obtained all necessary approvals from your local council or shire, the Department of Environment and Primary Industries, and any other approval bodies that apply regulations in your area.

Professional advice

For free general advice relating to vegetation management, please call us on (CitiPower) - 13 12 80 or                 (Powercor) - 13 24 12. We’ll be happy to assist you or alternatively we can refer your query on to the appropriate area of our business.  

Your checklist

  1. Plan early. Seek professional advice to determine and confirm all powerline clearance needs with Powercor

  2. Only commence your clearance work after you receive Powercor’s final-approved powerline route plan and confirmation to proceed

  3. Obtain necessary permits/approvals for vegetation clearance and disposal

  4. Hire accredited professionals where necessary
  5. Complete vegetation clearance at least 10 working days prior to the scheduled powerline installation date or as agreed with Powercor
  6. Contact Powercor when the works are completed
  7. For the health of the environment, consider planting replacement trees outside of the powerline easement.