Types of easements and control

There are three types of transmission line easements:

  • Registered easements
  • Unregistered easements
  • Statutory easements

The easement type and control applicable over land can vary depending on a number of factors, including the nature and age of the existing electricity infrastructure, as well as specific asset and site arrangements.

Registered easements

A registered easement is a set of legal rights and restrictions over land favouring a person or party registered on the property title.

Registered easement widths can vary. The property title typically includes a plan showing the dimensions of the easement and its location on the property along with details of the specific terms applicable to the easement.

Registered easements exist irrespective of whether a UWA also exists over the same area and they remain in effect regardless of land ownership changes and even if the infrastructure is removed.

The relevant legislation, which establishes the authority of registered easements, is the Land Titles Act 1980 or Registration of Deeds Act 1935.

To perform a title search to ascertain whether registered easements apply, and the extent of the applicable rights and restrictions, we recommend you contact your legal adviser or perform an enquiry at the LIST.

Unregistered Wayleave Agreements (UWAs)

UWAs are easements created by agreement with landowners at the time the easements were acquired that are not registered on the property title.

Similarly to registered easements an UWA will provide a set of rights and restrictions in favour of TasNetworks over a property. 

UWAs only apply to overhead transmission lines and remain in effect regardless of land ownership changes or whether infrastructure is removed. UWA widths can vary and exist irrespective of whether a registered easement also exists over the same area.

Authority of UWAs is by virtue of sections 5-7 of the Electricity Wayleaves and Easements Act 2000 and all pre-date 1 January 2002 (UWAs can no longer be created).

Statutory Easements

Where TasNetworks has electricity infrastructure (either O/H or U/G) on a property that was established prior to 6 November 1996, and is not benefitted by either a registered easement or UWA, TasNetworks will have a statutory easement over that property. A statutory easement gives TasNetworks specific rights over that property generally and over the safety corridor applicable to the type of infrastructure. 

Easement widths depend on the voltage of the powerlines concerned, being:

Nominal voltage

Width of easement
clearance area (m)

220kV (transmission)

60 (30m on either side of centreline)

110kV  (transmission)

50 (25m on either side of centreline)

< 88  (distribution)

12* (6m on either side of centreline)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NB –  above only applies when est. prior to 6/11/1996 and no UWA or Reg. Ease. in effect.
*   when O/H distribution lines incorporate spans in excess of 200m, the clearance width may need to be greater than 12m

Statutory Easements also allow for access through neighbouring properties if necessary in order to undertake works.

The authority, and applicable rights and restrictions, of statutory easements are outlined in sections 3 and 11 of the Electricity Wayleaves and Easements Act 2000.

TasNetworks provides a search service to locate easements throughout the transmission network. A fee of $38.70 is charged for this service.

To carry out a search for transmission easements, complete a Wayleave Search Form and return to us along with your cheque to:

TasNetworks Wayleaves Officer
PO Box 606
MOONAH  TAS  7009

Other controls

Even when there are no registered or statutory easements or other formal wayleave agreements benefitting powerlines and cables within property, setback requirements continue to apply. In these instances, the safety clearance setbacks applicable are directed by regulatory and industry standards.

These standards, both for overhead powerlines and underground cables, are outlined below. In all instances, the provisions of the Electricity Supply Industry Act 1995 continue to apply and require that there be no interference with electrical infrastructure/installations without proper authority.

Overhead powerlines

The clearance requirements for buildings and structures from transmission and distribution powerlines (to the first point of attachment within private land) are governed by Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 7000:2016 (Overhead line design).

Clearance requirements from a first attachment within private land through to the customer’s premises are governed by Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 3000:2016 (Electrical Installations).

The clearance standards (distances) vary depending on a range of factors including span lengths; conductor tension; mounting heights; and the characteristics of buildings/structures proposed in close proximity.

If you wish to erect a structure near an electrical service line, your building designer will need to check that the structure will not be within the area of land affected by an easement and then refer to those standards, taking into account the type of structure proposed, to ascertain the specific setbacks applicable.

Underground cables

TasNetworks and Dial Before You Dig can provide information on the approximate locations of underground electricity infrastructure.  However, the location of service connections within individual properties is typically not provided.

We recommend that Dial Before You Dig enquiries always be made prior to any ground disturbing activities as this will aid awareness about all underground infrastructure potentially affecting land. 

If landowners and occupiers are not aware of the location of their private underground assets, or they propose to undertake work close to known assets, it is advisable that they contact an accredited underground services locator prior to undertaking any earthworks.

TasNetworks considers it advisable, if easements are not in effect, that buildings and structures maintain a minimum horizontal clearance of:
•  2m from either side of underground cables ≤44kV
•  5m for either side of underground cables ≥110kV

More information

View safe growing near powerlines for information on vegetation management, including responsibility for management of vegetation and minimum safe distances.

Prior to undertaking activities in proximity to powerlines including operation of machinery near powerlines view working near powerlines.

Please note: there are different requirements in respect to the erection of scaffolding (refer to AS/NZS 4576:1995 (Guidelines for Scaffolding)).