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The Yuleba North to Blythdale Transmission Line Project in south-west Queensland has introduced several innovative measures for managing the biosecurity concerns of landholders.

The innovative project has used techniques, including heli-stringing to run the powerline between towers. In addition to this, one of the unique features of this project has been the ongoing engagement with landholders, as the transmission line traverses through multiple landholder properties over a distance of approximately 60km.

The project is being delivered for Powerlink by John Holland. Their National Construction Manager, Infrastructure, Jeff Hayes, said the team had worked collaboratively to proactively develop and implement solutions to ensure biosecurity compliance, including engaging landholders; developing colour coded biosecurity magnets and sign system; improving wash down facilities and establishing a ferry system for crews to and from site.

“The team consistently pursues innovative alternatives, effectively communicates and engages with stakeholders and consistently reviews performance to achieve great results,” said Mr Hayes.

“Powerlink rolled out its new Land Access Protocol (LAP) for this project, which includes a requirement to submit a Property Access Plan (PAP) for each property or activity seven days prior to entering a property or tower pad location. This PAP must list every vehicle, plant, equipment or machinery (VPEM) along with any personnel who will be on site during this period.

Project initiatives include:

Colour coded biosecurity magnets and signs system

The properties have been divided into six biosecurity zones and as part of a strict biosecurity management plan. VPEM cannot enter any zone unless accompanied with a Third Party Weed Hygiene Certificate specific for that zone. Certificates are also required for the entry into new zones or when changing between zones, in addition to other biosecurity protocols.

Project Manager Warren Monks said that to assist in the management of VPEM within a zone, the team created a system utilising colour coded magnets to align with the colour coded biosecurity zones implemented by Powerlink.

“Each VPEM has a magnet specific for each biosecurity zone, with colour coded signage placed at the gates within each zone, matched to the colour coding of the magnets to reduce the potential biosecurity breach,” said Mr Monks.

Wash down facilities

In addition to the third party wash down requirements for VPEM, all vehicles on the project are required to perform weekly wash downs. To accommodate these requirements, the team is currently utilising full time third party certifiers, three water trucks (filling tanks of wash down facilities and dust suppression) and three wash down bays.

Ferry crews

The project introduced a bussing system to reduce the potential of the biosecurity risk. The system is designed to ‘ferry’ the workers to and from camp, yard or site, which allows the vehicles to be left on site within the zones, reducing potential biosecurity breaches.

Showing accountability for their actions, the project team has been successful in developing these biosecurity initiatives and demonstrating strong landholder engagement. Adopting these biosecurity measures and engaging Enviro Champions within each work crew has helped drive John Holland and Powerlink’s joint continual improvement in environmental management.

Jessica Dickers is an experienced journalist, editor and content creator who is currently the Editor of Utility’s sister publication, Infrastructure. With a strong writing background, Jessica has experience in journalism, editing, print production, content marketing, event program creation, PR and editorial management. Her favourite part of her role as editor is collaborating with the sector to put together the best industry-leading content for the audience.

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