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If you've lost power or want to report fallen powerlines

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Cutting trees

If you’re an arborist or work in the garden maintenance industry, you may work closely to our assets (both underground and overhead). When cutting trees near powerlines, there are rules that state the distances required when you work around our assets in order to be safe.

If you’re not trained as an Authorised Person or you’re not being supervised by an Authorised Person, you must physically remain 3 metres away from the assets on our power poles while you work. This also includes any mobile plant, hand tools or equipment you may be using. The tree you want to cut can be 1 metre away from low voltage assets and service wires (the black wire going from our pole to a house) and 3 metres away from high-voltage assets or any assets you’re unsure of.

You can’t cut a tree if it’s hanging over powerlines or where any part of it may fall onto powerlines.

Never assume a branch can safely rest on or against powerlines as they can conduct electricity even in dry conditions. You shouldn’t touch any part of the branch or tree as the entire branch (including the leaves) may be live.

If a branch falls onto overhead powerlines, don’t touch any part of the tree as it may result in electric shock, burns or electrocution. Call us immediately on 132 004 and keep all people clear of the area while waiting for help.

If you’re an Authorised Person, you can cut a tree if it is 1 metre away from high voltage assets or 500 millimetres away from low voltage assets. However, at no time can you, your mobile plant, your hand tools or equipment be within 3 metres of high voltage assets or within 1.2 metres of low voltage assets.

Our guidelines are based on Safe Work Australia’s guidelines. For more in-depth documentation about working near powerlines, visit Safe Work Australia.


To be trained as an Authorised Person, you need to complete either UETTDREL16 Working safely near live electrical apparatus or UETTDREL14 Working safely near live electrical apparatus as a non-electrical worker.

Our Training Centre delivers training for UETTDREL14 Working safely near live electrical apparatus as a non-electrical worker. If you require training to become an Authorised Person please contact us.

Download UETTDREL14 Working safely near live electrical apparatus as a non-electrical worker course overview (PDF).