Drouin at present is undergoing a street-tree pruning program. The trees that grow under powerlines are being 'reduced in height' for safety reasons – understandably. There is some debate in the community however, about how excessive or how sensitive the pruning has been in some cases.
While developers of new estates in Victoria are required to put new infrastructure underground, most older or longer established residential areas are still supplied electricity by, in some cases, an ageing overhead power line system.
|I had a haircut like this once, when I fell asleep in the barbers chair!|
|Same species, same age, different side of the street|
In 1997, a report to the Parliament of Australia suggested that to put all existing overhead power lines in the country underground would conservatively cost $50 billion! It's just not going to happen in 2017, despite advances in directional drilling techniques, etc.
The above report also highlighted the improved property values that are achieved when overhead power lines are replaced with underground cables.
Energex, the South-east Queensland electricity distributor, has produced an interesting cost/benefit analysis of putting cables underground versus overhead on poles – can you guess which side of the argument they come down on – "Most of our high voltage transmission lines are built overhead due to costs, ease of repairs and environmental considerations".
The debate continues.