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12 March 2013

Tully joins irate critics of ‘shoddy’ tree gang

RESIDENTS MIFFED: Energex contractors
upset residents while cutting down trees
in Goodna and Bellbird Park.

RESIDENTS of Goodna and Bellbird Park are fuming over the actions of Energex tree loppers who have been accused of destroying trees and illegally entering people's yards.
 
Cr Paul Tully said Ipswich City Council was "investigating reports the Energex contractor using Victorian vehicles is dumping branches on footpaths forcing children and residents onto busy roads".

He described the contractors as "cowboys who seem to be breaking every rule in the book".

Cr Tully's Facebook page was inundated with complaints.

One resident named Katrina said the contractors "did Rosemary St recently and damaged the letterbox and walkway. Their trucks almost cut my driveway off. Made it quite unsafe to enter and exit our driveway".

Another, Mandy, said she "saw a small boy ... have to walk out onto the road" because of the contractors' actions. Cr Tully said council was investigating possible offences by the contractors with fines up to $110,000.

"A schoolchild could be killed as a result of these haphazard works," he said.

Cr Tully said the Energex contractors had blocked one footpath in Goodna's Queen St after NBN had blocked the other, forcing pedestrians onto a road that carries 20,000 vehicles a day.

"These cowboys should go back to Victoria before someone is killed or seriously injured," he said.

An Energex spokesman said the company had "an overriding commitment to provide a safe and reliable electricity supply for south-east Queensland".

This included "clearing tree branches growing near overhead powerlines, which can be a risk for children climbing unknowingly into danger, or in areas where tree branches can get blown onto lines, causing lines to fall and subsequent power interruptions".

"The council and Energex have in recent years undertaken jointly funded programs regarding overhead powerlines," the spokesman said.

"While around 25% of power in Ipswich is via underground cables there is still a requirement to carry out regular safety and reliability work around the existing overhead lines."


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