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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2021) . . Page.. 535 ..

directly behind their properties because the ACT Government failed to include the development application for this major infrastructure project on the official lease conveyancing reports. Leaseholders have been informed that at least some of their residential fences must now be earthed to avoid the risk of induced voltage. Also noting that in question on Notice No 2915 (Ninth Assembly) I asked, ‘Who will pay for rectification work to residents’ fences that require earthing’ and in response, I was told that ‘the ACT Government is engaging with the utility around responsibilities’. Further noting that on 14 September 2020, residents were informed via an email from the utility that ‘in principle, the earthing of fences in these circumstances is the responsibility of the property owner, however given the history of this matter we have been in consultation with the ACT government in an attempt to assist landowners. We will follow up this matter in coming weeks and will provide an update’. The 330kV transmission lines have been live since at least 4 November 2020, according to the utility and an audit identified certain lengths of fence located on residential blocks in Lionel Rose Street that needed to be earthed, have all these lengths of fence been earthed now; if so, on which date/s were they earthed; if not, why not.

(2) Why is it the responsibility of property owners to earth fences on their properties that were safe from induced voltage before the construction of high-voltage transmission lines directly behind their houses.

(3) Who has paid or will pay for the earthing of these fences, and how much was/is the total cost, and if shared, how much did/will each party pay.

Mr Gentleman: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The information that some Lionel Rose Street, Holt, residential fences need to be earthed is not correct. Whilst an initial generic audit by Transgrid based on general criteria that was conducted in late 2019 indicated that some fences may have required earthing, a subsequent site-specific Stockdill project assessment showed that residential fence earthing would not be needed. This position has been supported by recent independent on-site testing showing compliance with Australian Standards. TransGrid has additionally advised that the 330kV transmission line is safe.

(2) TransGrid had advised that if fence earthing was in fact required, TransGrid would undertake this work prior to line energisation. Standard utility communication regarding fencing risks is typically tailored to people building residences near existing transmission lines, not new lines.

(3) Not applicable.

Community Services Directorate—contracts(Question No 56)

Mrs Kikkert asked the Assistant Minister for Families and Community Services, upon notice, on 4 December 2020:

(1) Did the Community Services Directorate (CSD) in 2018–19, let 94 contracts worth almost $190 million be exempt from tender; if so, for each of these contracts, can the Minister provide (a) name of contractor, (b) service contracted for, (c) dollar value of contract, (d) expiration date of contract, (e) length of time that this contract has been held by the same contractor and (f) for any contract valued between $25,001 and $200,000, the dollar value of each written quote obtained from competitive contractor.

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