Asplundh is one of the main vegetation management contractors in NSW keeping power lines clear of vegetation. Power lines close to trees create a major bush fire hazard.
Asplundh undertoook this special project in The Blue Mountains National Park (part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area). The work involved re-establishing the easement where a major power transmission line passes through the park. The easement is approximately 1km long and 20m wide.
Environmental Groups, the public, government bodies and National Parks and Wildlife (NSW) had specific concerns for the proposed re-establishment of this easement and closely monitored the methodology and mitigation of environmental damage whilst carrying out the operations.
Environmental issues that Asplundh has to consider include:
- impact on Natural Bush, plants and grasses specially threatened species such as certain sub species of persoonias and banksias
- preservation of wildlife and habitats for example, preservation of a sensitive “Hanging Swamp”
- mitigation of soil erosion and silting of creek beds
To this end a great deal of cooperation, negotiation and appreciation of all the issues was required to successfully complete this project.
Asplundh developed a methodology and Environmental Management Plan to address all the issues. This was submitted for consideration and endorsed by all interested parties.
A specialised custom built Komatsu excavator (16 tonne) fitted with a purpose-built mulching attachment was used and supported by ground crew who removed tall growing vegetation in areas too steep and rocky for machinery. Experienced operators were able to maneuver the machine with minimal disturbance to the soil and mulch selected trees from the top down.
The resulting mulch was distributed to prevent erosion in the steeper areas and spread out on the access tracks to maintain and stabilise the surface. This ensures all weather access when required.
The power utility company representative, National Parks and Wildlife’s representative and Asplundh personnel worked closely together to develop a site specific Environmental Management Plan (EMP) which demonstrated a high degree of sensitivity to all the issues in a very professional manner. All duties where performed successfully and safely using Asplundh’s OH&S and Environmental Management procedures.
The finished product exhibits what can be achieved when good communication between contractors, constituent government bodies and the public is maintained. This easement now is serviceable and safe and it has the required clearances, highly reducing the likelihood of fire or injury occurring. The access tracks and staging areas for this project required slight restoration by Asplundh using mulch that was gained from this site. In all it was a very successful project with a pleasing outcome.
To see more of Asplundh’s specialised equipment such as tractor mounted mulchers, groomers, tree grabs, stick rakes and stump-grinders, please follow this link.
Click on the images below to enlarge.