Australia –– YARRA Ranges Council will use an Energy Safe Victoria review to lobby the regulator and State Government to install aerial bundled cabling in the shire.
Councillors unanimously voted to respond to Energy Safe Victoria’s review stating they would like the Government and power distributors to pay for the installation of aerial bundled cable – overhead power lines bundled together in a protective sheath.
Lyster Ward councillor Samantha Dunn said the review was an opportunity to “once again” advocate for area bundled cable.
“It would significantly reduce bushfire risk in Dandenong Ranges, particularly in all bushfire-prone areas,” Cr Dunn said.
With the new bushfire-prone areas requiring stricter pruning, councillors agreed it should not be the council’s responsibility to clear around powerlines.
Currently the council clears public land which is designated by the Electricity Safety Act as “declared” areas.
But councillors believe that, with the new stringent bushfire regulations, the electricity distributors should carry the cost of clearing areas in the shire.
Cr Dunn said aerial bundled cabling would reduce the cost to distributors and the risk of fires caused by powerlines.
She said bundling cables together also meant that trees had to be cut back less severely.
The 2009 Bushfire Royal Commission recommended replacement of all single-wire power lines with either aerial bundled cable, underground cabling or other technology in areas of high bushfire risk.