Street after street in Manly have examples of 'Ausgrid Vandalism'. The relentless butchering of our trees by Augrid sub-contractors continues to be serious issue resulting in major damage to a number of heritage trees. The systematic need to remove established trees which have become unstable or unhealthy due to inappropriate, and continual, cutting of significant branches has become unacceptable.
For example, Ausgrid are about to remove four smallish trees on Seaview Street between Upper Beach and New Streets. The reason I understand is that they do not want the continual expense of pruning them.
While aerial bundling is not the best solution, it would bring about a significant improvement. Under this method cables are bundled and insulated which means that contact with branches is much less of a problem and trees do not need to be as radically pruned. Currently the wires, apart from the Optus cables, are not insulated. Of course the best solution would be to underground the cables, but reality dictates that this is highly unlikely due to the enormous expense.
A good example of bundling can be seen on Bourke St in Surry Hills. Some bundling has also occurred on Addison Road, Manly.
Due to recent concerns raised by a number of Precinct Forum groups and local residents in the Manly area, a resolution was passed at the June 2013 Council meeting which included that steps be taken to halt the Ausgrid practices; that Manly Council develop a Tree Policy for the area, and that the possibility of aerial bundling be investigated. North Harbour & Little Manly Precinct groups in particular have been actively fighting this issue on behalf of local residents.
Candy Bingham, Deputy Mayor, Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations & community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.