The Newcastle Greens are demanding a smarter approach from the State Government in regulating the pruning of street trees by electricity companies.
“While there is a need to manage street trees to ensure safety around power lines, what we have seen in the last year across Newcastle is well beyond what is required,” said Nevenka Bareham, ,” said Nevenka Bareham, Greens Ward 3 candidate.
“Many of our suburbs across Newcastle have experienced this street tree butchering, particularly Georgetown, North Lambton and Lambton,” said Nevenka Bareham.
“While the electricity companies were publicly owned, street tree pruning occurred, but not the extent we’re seeing from these private companies. Today, pruning is undertaken to maximise profits, in accordance with vague regulation, at the expense of the amenity of our neighbourhoods,” said Nevenka Bareham.
“The State Government should step up, listen to communities and rein in the cowboy contractors,” said Cr Michael Osborne, Greens candidate for the State seat of Newcastle.
“The State Government should be investing in a long term solution to the problem, underground and aerial bundling the electricity cables,” said Cr Michael Osborne.
Western Australia set a good example with the progressive undergrounding of most of Perth’s electricity lines. Underground cables meant reduced maintenance costs for the electricity providers and reduced risks associated with natural disaster. In turn, community amenity was massively improved, and the initiative was very successful.
“It’s been done, and it works. It is time for the NSW State Government to invest in the long term, negotiate a joint funding agreement with the electricity companies, and the undergrounding and bundling of Newcastle’s electricity cables,” said Cr Michael Osborne.
In 2013, Deloittes Access Economics produced a study for the Australian Business Roundtable, concluding that “undergrounding electricity wires results in a benefit cost ratio of around 3 to 1”.
“The State Government needs to step up and take action to resolve this ongoing issue,” said Cr Michael Osborne.
Contact Michael Osborne 0439 442 984 or Nevenka Bareham 0431 211 586