Electricity (Hazards From Trees) Regulations 2003

Purpose

The purpose of these regulations is to protect the security of the supply of electricity, and the safety of the public, by:
 
  • prescribing distances from electrical conductors within which trees must not encroach; 
  • setting rules about who has responsibility for cutting or trimming trees that encroach on electrical conductors;
  • specifying who is liable if those rules are breached; and
  • providing an arbitration system to resolve disputes between electricity retailers, network companies and tree owners about the operation of the regulations.

How the regulations work

The regulations set out the circumstances in which the network company or we may warn you of a tree encroaching a specified zone, or the circumstances where the network company or we must give a "cut or trim" notice to you.  The purpose of a cut or trim notice is to notify you (the tree owner) that a tree is encroaching a growth limit zone and must be cut or trimmed.
 

How the regulations affect you

If you receive a cut or trim notice, it will contain all the information you need to comply with the regulations, including:
 
  • an explanation of the growth limit zone in relation to the electrical conductor and the tree to which the notice relates;
  • the time limits within which you must cause the tree to be cut or trimmed;
  • an explanation of the obligations of the electricity retailer or network company (as applicable);
  • what to do if you have no interest in the tree or how to get a dispensation from cutting or trimming the tree;
  • how to contact an arbitrator if you have applied for a dispensation and disagree with the decision; and
  • a summary of your liability under the regulations.
 

Liability of tree owners

A tree owner commits an offence if he or she is given a cut or trim notice in relation to a tree that requires the tree owner to cut or trim the tree, and the tree owner:
  • fails, without reasonable excuse, to cause the tree to be cut or trimmed in accordance with the regulations;
  • fails, without reasonable excuse, to advise the electricity retailers or network company (as applicable) the time and location of the cutting or trimming of the tree. 
You can view these regulations in their entirety here.