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Please Don’t Burn Our Poles: Ergon

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A cleared area can help keep flames away from vital Ergon infrastructure (Photo: Ergon Energy)

July 31, 2018

Ergon Energy is urging property owners planning hazard reduction burns to take precautions to prevent damage to the electricity network – and avoid potentially large repair bills.

Regional Field Manager Southern Max Hogan said damage to power poles could be expensive to repair and cause extended blackouts.

Mr Hogan said the risk of damage to the network from seasonal burning-off operations on rural properties could be mitigated if acreage owners, farmers and graziers took a few simple precautions:

  • Clear around the base of poles before you burn off (if local advice is required regarding this approach, contact Ergon Energy on 13-74-66)
  • Don’t burn too close to poles or powerlines
  • After the burn-off, check that power poles have not been damaged or left smouldering or in danger of catching alight.

“These small steps will make a big difference to the continuous supply of electricity to your area,” Mr Hogan said.

“Property owners should also be aware they can be liable for the repair costs if their negligence results in damage to Ergon’s poles or wires.”

Mr Hogan said although the bushfire season only begins officially on August 1, there had already been a significant number of bushfires in rural areas and Ergon crews were ready to respond to any damage to the network as soon as it was safe to do so.

“When an area is impacted by bushfire, we ask landowners to promptly check for any damage to poles and wires as part of their property inspection,” he said.

“In some cases, this can allow us to carry out any repairs required before they cause an outage, limiting the inconvenience to the local community.’’

Mr Hogan reminded landowners of their obligation to acquire a permit to burn from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services for any burn-offs.

He said property owners with private poles should take the same precautions when burning off, otherwise they may need to engage a licenced electrical contractor to repair any damage.

If any poles or wires are damaged by a burn-off or bushfire, call Ergon immediately on 13-22-96, or call Triple Zero (000) in a life-threatening situation.

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