South Australian Power Networks (SAPN), as a number of you are already aware, are due to venture into little ol’ Unley to make their power lines safe by pruning our street (and some private) trees.
Elected members were given a briefing by SAPN a couple of weeks back and the news we received is disconcerting.
They (SAPN) have a legislated requirement to ensure power lines are clear of vegetation.
The Electricity Act 1996 specifies that SAPN must carry out trimming and clearing of vegetation around power lines and states the required clearance distances. SAPN undertakes this work every three years; however they have not undertaken pruning to clear LV Distortions in the City of Unley for a substantial period of time.
The program is scheduled to commence mid April and continue through to June.
With mixed messages from other Eastern Councils over the last few months however in regard to the quality of work undertaken, impact on city trees and amenity Council has determined the potential impact of the proposed works on the tree population across the City of Unley as high risk.
Some 7000 trees (approx 1/3 of our stock) are likely to be pruned as part of the works. We are told that they will not only be pruning for high voltage but to address distortion caused to the low voltage. This means the pruning will be significant and the potential is that some trees will be pruned to the point of needing to be replaced with a new tree.
Council is keen to do what it can to ensure as much as we can that the tree lopping will not cause the widespread devastation that many of us dread.
To that end we have had a number of meetings with the staff of SAPN and our arborist will be supervising, as much as he can the works. He cant be everywhere however and we expect a number of you will assist in this process by reporting anything that appears extravagant to your mind. If you do please contact council and we will respond. Remember though we cant stop this.
I have now received a briefing on which trees in Clarence Park Ward that will come under the saw. Check your street below.