Private powerlines are your responsibility
If you have a private powerline, it’s your responsibility to maintain it in safe working order, fix any defects and keep trees or branches clear. This is to ensure reliable power supply, reduce the risk of electrocution or bushfires and keep your powerlines safe.
Where does a private line begin?
A private powerline usually starts at, and includes, the first low voltage pole on private property. It is your responsibility to maintain and repair this first pole and all the poles, line fittings and attachments beyond it.
If your property is supplied by a high voltage powerline and a transformer off a public road, it may be a private line and advice should be sought from TasNetworks and Electricity Standards and Safety, Department of Justice regarding the responsibility for maintenance and repair.
There are around 65,000 poles in Tasmania that are privately owned. A privately owned pole will normally have a yellow ‘Private Pole’ tag attached. Please note that not all private poles will be identified with this tag.
Types of poles
Treated hardwood poles (Koppers): These are the most common and preferred type. They have an expected life of more than 40 years and are inspected on a 3.5 - 5 year cycle.
Natural wood poles: These have been used in the past and can have a life expectancy of as little as seven years. These poles are inspected on a 3.5 year cycle.
Steel poles: Life expectancy for steel poles is more than 20 years but this may be affected by ground and service conditions. These poles are inspected on a 3.5 - 5 year cycle.
Maintenance tips for all poles
You can contribute to the life of a pole and assist in the inspection process by carrying out regular weed and bush removal around its base
Keep vegetation a minimum of 3 metres from overhead powerlines. Vegetation management should only be undertaken by an accredited contractor who can work in close proximity to live power lines
Look for any problems relating to the pole such as: significant leaning, nuts and bolts missing, steelwork hanging loosely, wires too close to the ground or broken insulators and wires, and arrange repairs immediately.
Currently, TasNetworks inspects private assets up to the customer metering point as part of our routine pole testing cycle. If there are any safety issues, you will be notified by Electricity Standards and Safety, Department of Justice and it will be your responsibility to fix any problems. Any testing beyond the customer metering point is your responsibility.
Follow this simple checklist to keep your private powerlines safe and to ensure a more reliable power supply:
Prevent fire damage to poles by keeping vegetation clear of the base of the poles.
Keep trees on your property well clear of powerlines.
Look for obvious line defects such as broken strands or loose or damaged insulators, and arrange repairs immediately.
Check for broken or damaged pole stay wires and arrange repairs.
Please note: if your supply is interrupted as a result of a fault and your private assets are deemed unsafe or non-compliant with Australian Standard (AS/NZS 3000 or AS 7000), this may impact on TasNetworks' ability to undertake restoration of supply. Alternatively a defective installation notice may be issued. This could lead to your supply being disconnected.
Please contact TasNetworks on 1300 13 7008 if you have any questions about the ownership of infrastructure on your property.