Cedar Grove Road residents forced to pay for power-line damage they didn't cause

POWER BILL SHOCK: Kim Tarrant, a resident of Cedar Grove Road. Photo: Supplied
POWER BILL SHOCK: Kim Tarrant, a resident of Cedar Grove Road. Photo: Supplied

LIVE electricity power wires were ripped from their poles by a vehicle travelling along Cedar Grove Road, Cedar Grove yesterday afternoon during traffic diversions.

The police-directed detour was in place during the closure of the Mount Lindesay Highway as a result of a morning collision that resulted in one fatality and multiple injuries.

POLE FAIL: One of the affected power poles, with the conduit ripped from its fixtures. Photo: Supplied

POLE FAIL: One of the affected power poles, with the conduit ripped from its fixtures. Photo: Supplied

According to Kim Tarrant, a resident of Cedar Grove Road: “I was away yesterday and a friend came to let the dogs out, and it had happened within minutes of her arriving, between 12.30 and 12.50pm”.

“Out here we’ve got a lot of low-lying power lines that travel across the road from one pole to the other, and from Couldery Court, which is just past the park, all the way to the dairy, every power line was ripped out.

“It had to have been a large vehicle. I’m guessing it had some sort of machinery on the back,” she said.

Police attended the scene yesterday afternoon and received reports from members of the public that the vehicle was possibly a tip truck carrying a tree.

All the power lines have now been repaired, but the damage bills for residents are imminent.

“I wasn’t even at home. Everyone’s passing the buck. No way am I responsible for this,” Mrs Tarrant said.

“The power pole that comes into my house is about two feet onto my private property, so Energex said they wouldn’t repair it, and there’s about four or five of us in this street in the same boat.

“Energex was waiting when my husband and son arrived from work at 6.30 last night, and they were informed that because the pole is on our property we had to get an electrician out, who also had to have a cherry picker to put all the wires back up and reconnect everything, and then they’d come and inspect it and tell us it’s all okay. 

“I don’t have the bill yet, but it’s not going to be cheap. He was here for four-and-a-half hours.”

Mrs Tarrant said it was frustrating that Energex was at her property last night with all of the equipment to complete the repairs, but didn’t carry out the work while they were onsite.  

“They literally picked the wires up and threw them over my fence and turned the power off.

“You can’t divert large vehicles down these little country lanes,” she said.

Energex responds

An Energex spokesman confirmed that a truck had accidentally taken down some power lines along Cedar Grove Road on Tuesday.

“These power lines were consumer mains wires running to houses along the road,” he said.

“An Energex crew made the wires safe and as they were consumer service wires, the owners of the properties were required to engage electrical contractors to repair them. 

“Energex then checked the work to make sure it was safe before reconnecting the power supply.”