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Don't let a burn-off take the power supply off

Published: 23 Aug 2017 8:50am

Property owners planning burn-offs ahead of the bushfire season should take precautions to prevent damage to the electricity network, according to Ergon Energy.

General Manager Customer Delivery Max Hogan said damage to power poles from burn-offs could be expensive to repair and cause extended power supply interruptions to customers in neighbouring areas.

But 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, and
  • Don’t burn too close to poles or powerlines.

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

Mr Hogan said that if any poles or wires were damaged, property owners should call Ergon Energy immediately on 13 22 96.

“Even where the precautions are followed, it is important for property owners to check after a burn-off that power poles have not been damaged or left smouldering or in danger of catching alight,” he said.

“Similarly, when a property has been impacted by bushfire, prompt action by landowners in checking for damage to poles and wires can minimise problems – this in turn can limit the inconvenience from the loss of power supply.’’

Mr Hogan reminded landowners of their obligation to acquire a permit to burn through the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services for any burning off activity.

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

“These fires not only cost Ergon Energy thousands of dollars, but also cause tremendous customer inconvenience through unnecessary interruptions to power supply.

“Especially in remote locations, damage to poles from burn-offs can lead to extended repair times, adding to the inconvenience for our customers.”

Media Contact: Rod Rehbein
Phone: 4153 9813 or 0407 031 072