A tree trimming program will soon begin in Alice Springs in an effort to improve safety around powerlines.

Working with the Alice Springs Town Council, a qualified arborist has identified trees that need to be trimmed, or removed, because they are too close to powerlines.

Alice’s Springs Regional Manager of Power Networks, David Lardner, said managing trees and vegetation near powerlines is critical to ensuring community safety and providing a reliable and safe supply of electricity to customers.

“We value the Alice Springs streetscape and will work with Council and our NT-based arborist to maintain its amenity but we also have to eliminate the risk of injury or death caused by trees touching power lines,” Mr Lardner said.

“In the Northern Territory we must maintain a three metre clearance between trees and powerlines. This allows for regrowth while maintaining a suitable clearance.

“Trees touching the lines can conduct electricity and if touched by people can cause an electric shock.

“It also minimises the risk of children climbing the trees and touching or getting close to the lines.

“The contact between lines and branches are also a cause of some of Alice Spring’s power outages and have been known to cause fires.”

Mr Lardner said that unfortunately it is not always possible to achieve a pleasing result due to the species, size and location of the tree to be trimmed.

“The trees that look their worst after the trim are the larger species, which are not meant to co-exist with power lines.

“Some of the trees planted under power lines are not the most suitable species and may need to be replaced.

“If a tree is removed, we will pay a local landscaping company to provide more suitable trees selected by Alice Springs Town Council.”

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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