A construction company has been prosecuted after an investigation by Energy Safe Victoria found that it ignored safety requirements and dug within three metres of a gas transmission pipeline in Frankston South.
Scott Civil Construction Pty Ltd was found guilty and fined $1,700 under the Gas Safety Act 1997 in the Frankston Magistrates’ Court on 22 June 2023.
The construction company had been excavating and installing National Broadband Network cabling at a property near the Moorooduc Highway in September 2020, without a permit.
It carried out the works despite receiving a direction from Before You Dig Australia that a permit needed to be issued by the gas company before the work started.
A pipeline patroller saw the work being carried out and reported the activity to Energy Safe Victoria. No contact was made with the pipeline.
Making contact and damaging a gas transmission pipeline poses serious safety risks to the community and the gas network. Consequences range from compromising the community’s gas supply, to gas leaks and in worse-case scenarios, explosions.
Transmission pipelines carry gas at high pressure to the gas supply network. They are patrolled by gas companies and operators to ensure unauthorised work does not occur.
A gas company who owns or operates a gas transmission pipeline must authorise excavating, boring or opening any ground within three metres of a transmission pipeline.
Energy Safe Chief Executive Officer, Leanne Hughson, said construction companies should check with Before You Dig Australia and follow their advice before digging anywhere.
“The integrity of our gas pipeline network needs to be protected for the safety of the community and the gas supply,” Ms Hughson said.
“It’s disappointing and concerning that this company chose to ignore clear advice about excavating around the gas pipeline network.”