26 September 2023

Energex calls landholders to take care

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Energex has called on landholders to be ‘power line aware’ as they conduct hazard reduction burns to reduce the fuel load in the lead-up to the bushfire season.

The utility’s plea has been spurred by a power-pole being accidently burnt down during burning off near Beaudesert.

Work Group Leader at Energex, Craig Maddy said hazard reduction burns were an essential way to reduce the risk of uncontrollable wildfires — but they had to be done right.

“In my roles, both with Energex and also as a volunteer rural fire fighter, I get to see a lot of examples of where fire and electrical assets don’t mix,” Mr Maddy said.

“In addition to the damaged pole at Beaudesert, in the past few weeks our crews have had to replace more than a dozen poles that have been damaged or burnt to the ground due to hazard reduction burns where property owners have not taken appropriate measures to protect them.”

He said poles were not only costly to repair but the incidents could also cut power to entire districts for extended periods while the repairs were undertaken.

Burned power poles could also be significant safety issues for property owners and the wider community.

“It is not just the obvious damage to the pole, but also the potential for hidden dangers,” Mr Maddy said.

“Even a pole that’s only partially burnt will be significantly weakened and could snap during high winds or storm activity without warning.

“Please be line aware of your surroundings and take appropriate measure to keep any flames aware from our poles and other equipment when conducting hazard reduction burns,” the Work Group Leader said.

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