EnergySafe Magazine Autumn 2015, issue 39 - Page 7

07 For all the latest energy safety news visit www.esv.vic.gov.au Autumn 2015 energysafe issue 39 Public input helps shape tree clearance regulations By Michelle Robertson, Senior Media and Communications Advisor Following a period of public consultation that finished in January, ESV has published 25 submissions in response to the Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) for the proposed Electricity Safety (Electric Line Clearance) Regulations 2015. The proposed regulations, to be made under the Electricity Safety Act 1998, will replace the Electricity Safety (Electric Line Clearance) Regulations 2010, which expire on 29 June 2015. The objectives of the proposed regulations are to prescribe the Code of Practice for electric line clearance and procedures for standards and practices for tree cutting or removal in the vicinity of electric lines, and to minimise the danger of electric lines causing fire or electrocution. Regulatory Impact Statement The RIS assesses the proposed regulations as well as identified alternatives on the basis of ability to reduce bushfire risks, substantive compliance costs and administrative burdens. Submissions in response to the RIS were received from from the following organisations and are currently available on the ESV website: »» AusNet Services »» Australian Institute of Landscape Architects »» Brimbank City Council »» Canterbury Community Action Group »» CitiPower Pty and Powercor Australia Ltd »» City of Boroondara »» City of Greater Geelong »» City of Kingston »» City of Monash »» Council Arboriculture Victoria »» Country Fire Authority »» Department of Environment and Primary Industries »» Dr Gregory Moore »» Glenelg Shire Council »» Greater Dandenong City Council »» Inner South Metro Mayors’ Forum »» Jemena Ltd »» Knox City Council »» Maroondah City Council »» Metro Trains Melbourne »» Mr Howard Templeton »» Municipal Association of Victoria »» United Energy and Multinet Gas »» Victoria Walks Inc »» Yarra City Council Balancing safety and amenity Victoria’s electric line clearance regime has three key policy goals that apply across the state: safety, reliability and fire prevention. The relative level of risk varies across urban and regional areas. Safety is the core value in urban areas. This includes the safety of the general public and all those working in the vicinity of electric lines, including linesmen and arborists/vegetation workers. The Code is based on the general proposition that there should be no contact between vegetation and electric lines, but it allows situations where limited contact may occur without compromising safety. Trees will continue to grow and more are being added to streetscapes every day. Over the years, the regulations have been reviewed to incorporate changes in response to external events (including weather and fire events), technological developments and key stakeholder perspectives. Since 2005, ESV has had responsibility for administering the regulations and ensuring compliance with the Code. The regime accepts that vegetation can be affected by weather conditions, such as wind, which can cause branches to intermittently come into contact with electric lines. Powerlines are also not static—they respond to changing environmental conditions such as temperature and wind, and also electricity load. The fundamental principle of the regime is that contact between vegetation and electric lines should be prevented as much as possible. Powerlines and vegetation management A guide to rights and responsibilities Creating a safer state with electricity and gas 1 lick here to download ESV’s C  guide to Powerlines and vegetation management (pictured above) CEDA contemplates future energy grid ESV was pleased to sponsor a recent forum organised by CEDA (the Committee for Economic Development of Australia). Titled Energy Networks—enabling the future grid, the forum examined the changing dynamics of Australian energy markets and the role of the future grid in energy supply and usage. ESV’s Paul Fearon, Victoria’s Director of Energy Safety, chaired the event, which featured guest speakers Paula Conboy, the new Chair of the Australian Energy Regulator, and United Energy & Multinet Gas CEO Hugh Gleeson, who discussed the state of the energy market and how energy businesses can adapt and innovate their business models. Innovators: Speakers Hugh Gleeson, CEDA’s Michael Camilleri, Paula Conboy and Paul Fearon.