Powercor plans helicopter inspections of powerlines in Western Victoria between late February and early April 2018

Powercor is planning helicopter inspections in Western Victoria
Powercor is planning helicopter inspections in Western Victoria

Powerlines in the Ararat and Stawell region are due to be inspected via helicopter between late February and early April.

Low-flying helicopter inspections have started in areas across western Victoria as part of Powercor’s bushfire safety program.

The inspections will continue until April, with thousands of powerlines to be surveyed across Hamilton, Horsham, Mildura, Warrnambool, Swan Hill and Ouyen regions.

Inspections around Shepparton, Bendigo and Geelong have been conducted over recent weeks.

The Bell 206 helicopters fly about 250-500 metres above powerlines and, using state-of-the-art helicopter survey equipment, capture images of the assets.

The flights are taking place during daylight hours.

Vegetation Manager Wayne Evans said the Light Detection and Ranging Measurement (LiDAR) survey involved using a laser measuring unit mounted on a helicopter to measure the distances between power lines and surrounding vegetation.

“The images will then be sent back to specialist teams that will analyse them and determine what vegetation will need to be removed this year to ensure our network remains safe and is compliant with regulations,” Mr Evans said.

“This is work to get us ready for next fire season, however the images will also allow us to detect if there is any urgent work that needs to occur immediately.”

Mr Evans said the work was aimed at improving the safety and reliability of the network for the community.

“As the owner and operator of the electricity poles and wires across some of Victoria’s most bushfire-prone areas, we work throughout the year to prepare for summer,” Mr Evans said.

“As part of this wide-ranging work, we conduct extensive checks to ensure vegetation is clear of powerlines in high bushfire-risk areas.”

During 2017, Powercor inspected more than 286,000 power poles across the network.

If residents have any questions or concerns, they can contact Powercor on 13 22 06

Flight schedule (weather permitting)

Late February/early March

  • Cobden,
  • Warrnambool,
  • Terang,
  • Koroit,
  • Portland,
  • Hamilton,
  • Ararat

March/early April

  • Charam,
  • Horsham,
  • Stawell,
  • Nhill,
  • Charlton,
  • Ouyen,
  • Redcliffs,
  • Merbein,
  • Mildura,
  • Robinvale,
  • Boundary Bend,
  • Swan Hill,
  • Kerang,
  • Cohuna
This story Powercor plans helicopter inspections in Western Victoria first appeared on The Ararat Advertiser.