Months on and tree concerns grow

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Branches of the dead tree in Lyons hang between power lines.

SAFETY concerns over a dead tree, with branches hanging between power lines in Lyons, continue to rise after four months of bureaucratic indifference to dealing with it. 

Branches of the dead tree in Lyons hang between power lines. Photo by Bryan Harris-May.

Gardener Bryan Harris-Mayes, of Gordon, first spotted the overhanging dead tree on a public walkway between Launceston and Port Arthur Streets, when working on a garden.

“While working for my clients, I look around into neighbouring properties and sometimes notice trees growing into power lines,” he said.

Bryan reported the Lyons tree to Evoenergy (formerly ActewAGL), on October 10.

After nothing had changed, he again spoke with Evoenergy on January 19.

“A client of mine living nearby has also reported the same tree,” he said.

When Bryan contacted by “CityNews” yesterday (February 12), he said the limbs of the tree were still hanging through the wires and the same danger remained.

“Being a dead tree it could shed a limb at any time likely bringing down the supply cables to the immediate area and incurring expense in repair,” he said.

Bryan said if a householder had trees growing closer than 1.5 metres to power lines then an Evoenergy would require that the tree be trimmed back within a specified time or compulsory trimming would take place and the owner charged.

“However, when the tree grows on ‘government’ land the consideration seems to be relaxed altogether and a considerable amount of time passes before any action takes place, or not,” Bryan said.

“There appear to be dual standards regarding the interpretation of safety.”

Bryan said Evoenergy told him last year the tree had to be reported to the local government, which would arrange for it to be trimmed.

“It would seem that this should lead to a quicker response, [which is] not so. The danger remains.”

An Evoenergy spokesperson has commented on the issue and said the ACT Government has been notified and we understand it has been programmed for removal in the coming weeks.

“At this time this land does not sit within the vegetation management responsibility of Evoenergy,” said the spokesperson. 

“Come July 2018 Evoenergy will have the responsibility for tree trimming on public and rural land, national parks and nature reserves.”

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Danielle Nohra
Danielle Nohra is a "CityNews" staff journalist.

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