Two branches left

Two branches left & this is not an isolated example.

Clr Phillips put up a Notice of Motion – Moratorium on street tree pruning by Ausgrid for the Council Meeting of 18th February 2014.  To read the Notice of Motion see –

I was reading the business papers today & decided that Council staff comments should be shared.

“Council has no power to impose a moratorium on Ausgrid.  Under the NSW State Government legislation, the Minister of Resources & Energy has authorised the Electricity Supply Act 1995 ….. if a network operator has reasonable cause to believe that a tree could interfere with its electricity works….the network operator may trim or remove the tree.  This section applies despite the existence of a tree preservation order or environment planning instrument.”

“….Council met with Ausgrid representatives in January 2014 to discuss the recent heavy pruning of Marrickville’s street trees.  Clarification was sought as to the clearences they are required to prune to achieve.  In summary [they are] –

  • LOW VOLTAGE LINES: 1m clearance at all times & an extra 2m ‘regrowth zone’ resulting in a total 3m pruning.
  • AERIAL BUNDLED CABLE:  0.6m at all times & an extra 2m ‘regrowth zone’ resulting in a total 2.6m pruning.

As a result of the 3m clearance requirements many trees are being left unviable & disfigured.”

The outcome of this meeting is as follows –

  1. Council are writing to Networks NSW to request an amendment to the above guidelines.
  2. Ausgrid committed to improving the quality of their street tree pruning & also committed to contacting Council regarding any public tree where necessary pruning could render the tree unviable.
  3. Ausgrid will remove all tree pruning material before they leave the area, instead of leaving them overnight taking away residents car parking spaces.

Marrickville Council itself has said that they will plant only small tree species under powerlines as part of their upcoming Street Tree Master Plan.

Considering that aerial bundled cabling is expensive, I do not understand why the benefits only amount to less than half a metre.

Also, pruning to 1m below the telecommunications cables has not been mentioned.  I have received information on good authority that pruning for these cables is unnecessary, as contact with trees does not create a safety hazard.

Considering that the NBN cable will also likely be attached to powerlines in some areas, this will mean a much lower ‘regrowth zone’ if current pruning to protect telecommunications cables is followed.  If this does happen, even a small stature tree will be unsuitable for under powerlines.

To view examples of street tree pruning in Marrickville by Ausgrid in January 2014 see – &

Council’s response to the recent tree pruning can be read here –