April 29, 2018
Ergon Energy is trialling the use of two fire-resistant products on selected power poles to determine their effectiveness during bushfires.
Spokesman Carmelo Noel said the trial included a paint-on application and a fabric wrap, both of which had proven fire-resistant qualities.
“We are initially looking at how well the products remain attached to our poles, but of course the real test will come when they are exposed to a bushfire,” he said.
“They would only have to prevent a small number of poles from needing to be replaced as a result of a bushfire to be a good investment in high-risk areas.”
Mr Noel said 21 poles had been painted while the wrap had been applied to 15. One pole had both products applied for the trial.
“These poles are predominantly in remote locations where we have experienced bushfires previously and are at higher risk of bushfires in future,” he said.
Mr Noel said the trial would continue indefinitely until at least some of the poles had been exposed to a bushfire.
“After that, we’ll be able to assess the costs and benefits of potentially extending the trial to other bushfire-prone areas across the state,” he said.