Western Power is responsible for the safety and reliability of the powerlines and other associated electricity infrastructure.
To minimise safety incidents and supply interruptions caused by vegetation, we have developed a pruning program across the South West interconnected system to ensure vegetation remains clear of the powerlines.
The frequency of inspections is as follows:
|Fire ratings||Type of powerlines||Patrolling period|
|Extreme and high fire risk zones||Distribution lines||At least annually (bushfire cut)|
|Moderate fire risk zones||Distribution lines||At least every 2 years|
|Low fire risk zones||Distribution lines||At least every 3 years|
|Distribution lines in urban areas||At least annually (urban cut)|
|Transmission lines||At least annually|
|Poles carrying drop out fuses (DOF)||At least annually (pole based clearing)|
When house/land occupiers fail to maintain their trees, we use the following notification process:
- A notice is issued providing 30 days to trim trees and shrubs that are near powerlines within the boundaries of their property
- a second urgent reminder notice will be issued at the end of the 30 day period giving a further seven days notice
- if the occupier still hasn’t pruned their trees, a ‘default cut’ will occur (through our contractors)
- the customer is then invoiced for the cost of the default cut
Trees are the occupier's responsibility
We give no assurance that we will be in a position to prune the offending trees.
Note: that the occupier may be liable for damage resulting from trees at the property coming into contact with powerlines.
Notices are written and hand delivered to the letterbox at the time of the inspection of trees. Notices are printed on carbon paper - the original copy is given to the occupier and Western Power retain the traced copy.
Under the Energy Operators (Power) Act 1979 Western Power are permitted to enter a property to maintain powerlines with only three days notice; however we choose to give occupiers a minimum of up to 37 days notice.
Insulated service wire
When a tree is identified as being too close to the insulated service wire (XLPE), we use the following notification process:
- a notice will be issued to the occupier of the property to trim the nearest tree branches at least 30 centimetres from the XLPE
- if the vegetation is not pruned as requested, the occupier may be liable for the cost of repairing any resulting damage to the XLPE, as well as claims made by other affected persons
Note: Western Power does not default cut around insulated service wires. Therefore, should you notice vegetation growing too close, please engage a qualified tree pruner to cut the vegetation back to at least the 30 cm clearance. In order to allow for re-growth, it may be beneficial to cut any branches back to at least 50 cm from the wire.
Vegetation control agreement
House/land occupiers may choose to enter into a vegetation control agreement (VCA) with us to adopt a narrower clearance profile, that is the distance between their trees and the powerlines:
- if pruning would be detrimental to the tree’s health
- to change the aesthetic value of the tree
- if there is an underground powerline project in the area
To have a VCA, the house/land occupiers will need to meet the terms of the agreement including a vegetation assessment /arboricultural report of the tree/s.
For more information contact our vegetation management team.