RELOCATION OF OVERHEAD CABLES STRATEGY POLICY

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Nov 16, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)

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POLICY NO:

DCI

1

-

CL












RELOCATION OF OVERHEAD


CABLES STRATEGY


POLICY





Date Resolved By Council:

28 August 2000


Commencement Date:

28 August 2000


Review Date:

June 2005


Responsible
Department
:

City
Infrastructure








This policy has
been authorised and is included on Council’s Website.








Peter Brown


Chief Executive Officer



April 2003


Under Review


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STRATEGY POLICY


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1



TABLE OF CONTENTS




1.

INTRODUCTION

2


2.

ISSUES AND BACKGROUN
D

2

2.1.

T
HE
C
OMMITMENT TO
A
BOVE
G
ROUND
I
NFRASTRUCTURE


R
ELOCATION IN
M
ORELAND

2

2.1.1. Associated Policy and Strategy Areas

3

2.2.

T
HE
B
ENEFITS OF
I
NFRASTRUCTURE
R
ELOCATION

3

2.2.1.

Amenity and Urban Design Benefits

4

2.2.2.

Infrastructure Mai
ntenance/Continuity of Supply Benefits

4

2.2.3.

Heath Risks Reduction

4

2.2.4.

Those who Benefit

5

2.3.

T
HE
C
OSTS
O
F
O
VERHEAD
I
NFRASTRUCTURE
R
ELOC
ATION

5


3.

A FRAMEWORK FOR SITE

SELECTION

6

3.1.

S
ITE
S
ELECTION

7

3.2.

PRINCIPLES

7

3.3.

S
ELECTION
C
RITERIA FOR
U
NDERGROUNDING
P
ROJECTS

7

3.3.1.

Urban amenity and design

7

3.3.2.

Re
source efficiency

9

3.3.3.

Reduction of high exposures to electromagnetic fields.

10

3.3.4.

Ecologically sustainable development

11

3.3.5.

Social equity

12

3.3.6.

Community consultation

12


4.

STRATEGIES TO INCREA
SE UNDERGROUNDING IN

MORELAN
D

13

4.1.

I
NCREASE AVAILABLE RE
SOURCES WHILE ENSURI
NG EQUITY AND



EFFICIENT FINANCING
OPTIONS
.

13

4.2.

M
AXIMISE COMMUNITY RE
TURNS
.

15

4.3.

I
NCREASE UNDERGROUND
SERVICES
(
INCLUDING ADJACENT



INFRASTRUCTURE
)

IN NEW DEVELOPMENTS
.

15

4.4.

C
OORDINATING ASSOCIAT
ED CAPITAL WORKS TO
REDUCE COSTS AND D
ISRUPTION

16

4.5.

P
ROMOTE ACCEPTANCE OF

RELOCATIONS PROJECTS
.

16

4.6.

S
UPPORT DEVELOPMENT O
F RELOCATION TECHNIQ
UES

17

4.7.

S
UPPORT UNDERGROUNDIN
G PROJECTS SPONSORED

BY OTHER GROUPS

18


5.

WHERE TO FROM HERE.

18

5.1.

I
MPLEMENTATION
.

18

5.2.

M
ONITORING AND
R
EVIEW

18


6.

CONCLUSION

19




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1.

INTRODUCTION



Insufficient planning and foresi
ght during the proliferation of above ground electricity
and telecommunications supply this century has left an inheritance of overhead
services which interlace some of our most attractive urban settings. More recent
pressures include the continued expans
ion of this infrastructure and the introduction
of digital and analogue communication towers, microcell installations and Pay TV
cabling.



The infrastructure associated with electricity (high and low voltage wires, poles,
transformers sub
-
stations etc.)

and that associated with the telecommunications
industry (wires, antennae, transmission towers) are the subject of community concern
around issues such as:




Urban amenity eg visual clutter, ugliness, anachronisms;




Environmental quality;




Urban planning;

and




Health and safety.



Technical developments now mean that placing this infrastructure in more appropriate
locations is now a viable option for most new developments and existing sites which
are compromised by the above ground infrastructure. Such si
tes include centres with
high levels of pedestrian activity, areas with higher density building development and
areas of high scenic, historic or environmental significance. In situations where
undergrounding is not feasible, there are now alternative met
hods for reducing the
visual and electromagnetic field (EMF) impacts of this infrastructure.



In the short term, the pace of infrastructure relocation projects is likely to be limited by
the resistance of some stakeholders to contribute an equitable shar
e of the costs, the
relatively small amount of Council funds available and access to assistance from
other government funding programs.



2.

ISSUES AND BACKGROUND


2.1.

The Commitment to Above Ground Infrastructure Relocation in Moreland



While recognising that e
lectricity and telecommunications infrastructure are
essential elements which enhance social interaction, promote community
safety and create comfortable living environments, Moreland City Council has
stated a commitment to the phasing out of overhead cabl
es (Moreland Plan
1997) and minimising the health, safety and amenity implications of electricity
and telecommunications infrastructure generally. The Council
believes that
the environmental, amenity, health and urban design benefits related to the
reloca
tion of cables make it imperative that a comprehensive relocation
program is facilitated through all levels of government in cooperation with
private sector bodies.



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2.1.1.

Associated Policy and Strategy Areas



The following strategy for infrastructure relo
cation and the project
selection criteria are reinforced by components contained in many of
Moreland’s existing strategy commitments. The following is a listing
of Council strategies and programs which address the common issue
of above ground infrastructu
re and the associated costs to Moreland.



Strategies and key documents




Mayor’s Speech 1998




Moreland Plan




Moreland Open Space Strategy




Strategy for Improving Urban Character in Moreland




City Of Moreland Heritage Review




Retail Centres Strategy for Mor
eland




Moreland Street Landscape Strategy




Policy and Strategy for the Reducing Human Exposure to
Electromagnetic Fields




Moreland Cables Rating Strategy




Moreland Integrated Transport Strategy




Moreland Energy Conservation and Management Strategy.



Rela
ted Program and Project Areas




Facades Improvement Program




Urban Street Decorations




Arts Action
-
Arts Precinct Implementation Plan




Greening Sydney Road Project.




Council endorsed urban design frameworks.


2.2.

The Benefits of Infrastructure Relocation



The
existence of the above ground infrastructure represents a significant
constraint on realising opportunities for urban improvement. Relocation of
above ground infrastructure will reduce this aerial clutter and therefore
increase the opportunities for both
public and private realm improvement
These improvements will include better quality urban design, improved
amenity for citizens, maintenance and service benefits, reduction in health
safety risks.



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2.2.1.

Urban Design and Amenity Benefits




Reduce the physica
l impact of poles and similar infrastructure
on high traffic foot paths




Remove the constraints and improve the benefits of potential
developments such as upper floor residential and commercial
development




Rationalise the visual clutter by removing the ne
gative elements
and allowing the positive ones to stand out more clearly




Improved visual amenity




Improved streetscape aesthetics




Increased opportunity for the development of public spaces




Increase opportunities for street tree planting unrestricted by
pruning or low species requirements




Reduced inconvenience to residents due to number of power
outages




Reductions in television and radio interference (for high voltage
supply)




Underground connections to houses will remove overhead
restrictions on garden

planting




Increase in property values via improved streetscapes.


2.2.2.

Maintenance and Supply Benefits




Lower maintenance costs for telecommunications carriers and
electricity companies




Saving from reduction on disruption and interference of supply
by telecom
munications carriers and electricity companies




Reduced cost for building owners and operators of building
façade maintenance and development




Reduction in depreciation costs of poles, cabling and associated
infrastructure




Reduced street tree maintenance
costs for Council.


2.2.3.

Heath Risks Reduction




Potential for reduction in EMF levels from electricity supply




Reduction on the number of motor vehicle
-
pole accidents




Reduced level of electrocutions




Reduction in property losses via fires and appliance damage
which may result from power surges.




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2.2.4.

Those who Benefit



There is a range of possible beneficiaries resulting from the relocation
of above ground infrastructure. The balance of benefits will vary from
site to site. For example, the benefits associate
d with public realm
projects will differ from residential projects which will differ from
projects in retail strips. A clear understanding of the benefits and
beneficiaries will be important in assessing the most equitable funding
contribution for each pr
oject.


2.3.

The Costs Of Overhead Infrastructure Relocation



The most significant cost of relocating this overhead infrastructure is the
capital costs associated with physical works. The relocation costs for all urban
and suburban areas in Australian cities
(with a population above 300,000)
have been estimated at a total of $24 billion. This equates to an average
expenditure of $6,000 per property. With developments in relocation practices
and processes, this figure has been projected to reduce by 20% in ye
ar one,
and 35% over the next 5 years. (Ref. Putting Cables Down Under Working
Group (PCDUWG) Discussion Paper, June 1998).



Recent experience obtained from a residential undergrounding project by
Western Power in Western Australia has produced an expens
e profile which
equates to approximately $3,000 per property. This amount has been
supported by a study conducted on the costs of undergrounding by Banyule
City Council.



The total cost of cabling relocation will be further reduced by incorporation of
alternative methods of infrastructure relocation including an appropriate mix of:




Undergrounding;




Line removal;




Aerial bundling and relocation of cables;




Relocation of aerial cables; and




Appropriate combinations of the above.



While undergroundi
ng will normally be the preferred solution for the
management of overhead clutter, the objectives of infrastructure relocation will
differ from project to project. In some projects, the accentuation of heritage
buildings or tree planting may be a priority

issue. In other instances levels of
EMF may be a more important factor. In addressing the priority issues in each
project, the design works will incorporate the most appropriate and efficient
relocation measures.



The cost will also be effected by th
e supply and demand of the required
specialised services and machinery. In the short term, a lag in the supply of
this capacity may lead to higher costs. It is expected that the nature of this
industry segment will allow for a fluid response to these inc
reases in demand,
which will in turn provide some efficiencies of scale and reduce prices.



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While the most significant and tangible cost associated with the relocation of
above ground infrastructure is the construction costs, the following costs also
need to be assessed when considering relocation of infrastructure.




Inconvenience to residents and commerce during relocation projects;




Undergrounding of connections to premises;




Relocation of facilities such as street lights and signs; and




Environmenta
l damage caused at the time of works including damage to
flora, sediment laden runoff (usually avoidable via design and project
management).



In addition to local costs, undergrounding may produce wider costs, such as:




Large capital works projects ($24

billion) have the potential to effect the
macro economy which may have positive or negative effects on
employment or GDP;




The need to produce new cabling and works may increase energy and
other finite resource use; and




Changing profiles of EMFs may prod
uce localised increase in EMF fields
in some limited circumstances (design can limit these occurrences).



Environmental impact and disruption are important contributors to the costs of
infrastructure relocation. Regardless of the methods chosen, there wi
ll be
significant works and disturbance around project sites. This disturbance may
cause some environmental damage, although most of this damage will be
limited to the disruption of nature strips. The disturbance of plant root systems
or removal of trees
will be necessary in some cases to install the underground
network and to protect it from damage. Replanting of suitable plants will be
possible in these circumstances.



Costs of above ground infrastructure relocation will be considerable and
therefore c
are will need to be exercised in the site selection and design
process to ensure these costs are minimised. The high costs will also require
well developed funding arrangements to maximise the number of relocation
projects which can be undertaken.



3.

A FRA
MEWORK FOR SITE SELECTION



Because of the limited amount of funds available for undergrounding projects, it is
important to establish a set of selection criteria and a selection process to choose how
these funds can be expended most effectively and effici
ently.



The following selection framework is intended to maximise the benefits gained by the
municipality from projects under a broad range of criteria by selecting those projects
that demonstrate the greatest benefits. The assessment process that will

be used to
prioritise Council's support of relocation projects and will also be the basis of
application for partnership funding from government agencies and utilities.



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3.1.

Site Selection



The Selection Team



Council’s

Urban Design unit will be responsi
ble for overseeing the evaluation
and nomination of suitable sites for relocation projects. It will be the
responsibility of the unit to ensure that due consultation with network
managers and assessment of community support for individual projects takes
pl
ace



The team unit will coordinate the collation of information on each of the criteria
areas and generate a set of prioritised sites for approval by Council and
subsequent application for funding assistance.



Urban Design unit will also be responsible

for providing advice on the
appropriate and location design of new infrastructure in the provision of
services to new developments.


3.2.

Principles



The following principles are proposed as the basis for assessing and
prioritising specific projects.


1.

Impro
ve urban amenity and design

2.

Optimise project funding resource effectiveness.

3.

Reduction of exposures to high electromagnetic fields.

4.

Ecologically sustainable construction processes

5.

Social equity

6.

Community consultation.



From these principles specific detai
led criteria have been developed.


3.3.

Selection Criteria For Undergrounding Projects


3.3.1.

Improve urban amenity and design



Council's urban strategy policies include a range of urban design and
urban amenity objectives which are related directly to the benefits
and
outcomes of above ground infrastructure relocation. The key current
policy and strategy documents are:




Mayors Speech 1998




Moreland Plan




Retail Centres Strategy (Coburg Shopping Centre. Brunswick
Shopping Centre and Glenroy Shopping Centre)




Strate
gy for Improving Urban Character in Moreland




Moreland Open Space Strategy




Urban Villages
-

a sustainable future for Moreland



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Moreland City Council Heritage Review




Moreland Street Landscape Strategy




Strategy for the Reduction of Exposure to Electrom
agnetic
Fields




Moreland Cables Rating Strategy




Moreland Integrated Transport Strategy




Facade Improvement Program




Street Decoration Program.



In particular, the following criteria related to streetscape
characteristics, heritage value, urban character
and local area urban
design frameworks and structure plans should be considered



Streetscape Characteristics



Mostly the above ground infrastructure is found in streets. The
potential for yielding benefits from relocation will vary from street to
street.

Priority for infrastructure relocation should be given to streets
with:




High levels of pedestrian activity such as shopping and
entertainment precincts;




Significant cultural or civic value such as the Arts Precinct;




Where higher density buildings of t
wo or more storeys actively
front the street with minimum or no front setbacks;




Major intersections, municipal entrances or important
boulevards;




Forming part of modal interchanges;




Abutting parkland;




With special environmental features such as mature
trees or
scenic views;




With specified heritage significance;




Strategically identified for tree planting;




Strategically identified for upgrading for enhanced pedestrian or
bicycling amenity.



Heritage Value



Removal of overhead infrastructure will have

a positive effect on the
quality of our heritage areas. Relocation works in these areas will
improve the quality of these important local assets.



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Key Document
-

Moreland City Council Heritage Review, which
includes:




Identification of Heritage Overl
ay Precincts; and




Identification of Heritage Citations within the area.



Assessment of heritage value should be consistent with the Criteria
for Selection of Precincts as laid down in the Moreland City Council
Heritage Review, Section 1.05 Page 2. Specia
l consideration should
also be given to buildings or areas which are part of Commonwealth,
State or National Trust Heritage Registers.



Contribution To Urban Character



The Moreland Urban Character Statement refers to overhead cables
as an ugly and intru
sive element and recommends undergrounding.
Proposed works should make a substantial contribution to the
Character Themes and Objectives of the Strategy for Improving
Urban Character in Moreland Section 3.2 Page 9.



Local Area Urban Design Frameworks Or
Structure Plans



Council endorsed Urban Design frameworks and Structure Plans are
developed for locations subject to significant development pressure or
change. They are the expression of the vision or the preferred
character of an area and will identify
elements including street
infrastructure. Where Council endorsed urban frameworks exist for
an area, any expressed priority for undergrounding should by
considered
in the selection criteria.


3.3.2.

Optimise Project Funding Resource Effectiveness



Expenditure o
f resources for above ground infrastructure relocation
projects should maximise both the tangible and intangible benefits of
any proposed works.



Funding Potential



Project costs to Council will be affected by the relative complexity, the
site location a
nd the amount of available contributing funding. To
maximise the amount of infrastructure relocation achieved within
Council's limited financial resources, projects need to be appraised on
the basis of overall project funding potential. This should be ass
essed
on the following criteria:




Overall and marginal costs in terms of ease/cost of proposed
works;




Overall capacity to attract contributing funding from adjacent
properties, the relevant utilities, State and Federal government.



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Other factors whic
h may have
additional cost

implications include:




Alternative mounting of streetlights and signs;




Service connections to buildings;




Tramway cabling;




Remediation of pavement, planting and street furnishings;




Density and type of other adjacent infrastruc
ture;




Relocation of substations, transformers or distribution cabinets;




Potential for avoided costs from maintenance, depreciation
pruning etc.; and




Avoid of cross subsidisation of (tangible and intangible costs).



Coordination with other works



Cos
t savings and reduction to disruptions will potentially be achieved
with the coordination of undergrounding projects with other scheduled
works (or works which may be brought forward) The following should
be considered in the strategic coordination of capi
tal works programs:




New property developments;




Concurrence with other planned underground works;




Concurrence with road resurfacing or footpath works;




Routine renewal of cable infrastructure;




Renewal or upgrade of street lighting;




Concurrence with
other street of public place improvements;
and




Degree of depreciation of existing overhead infrastructure.


3.3.3.

Reduction Of Exposures To High Electromagnetic Fields



While the dangers of exposure to electromagnetic field (EMF)
radiation are subject to scien
tific debate, there is considerable
evidence that some of the electromagnetic frequencies in common
usage have the capacity to interact with biological processes in ways
that may be potentially hazardous to human health.



In the
Strategy for Reducing Pu
blic Exposure to Electromagnetic
Fields
(draft for public comment, September 1998)
Council adopted
the conservative philosophy of “Prudent Avoidance”. One key
recommendation of the strategy will be to progressively underground
or relocate overhead infrast
ructure, with priorities in higher risk or
sensitive areas. The strategy sets a long term target of 2 milligauss
as the lower limit for long term exposures.



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EMF should be assessed in terms of:




Current peak and average EMF levels and dissipation rate
s;




Projected mitigation effects of relocation; and




Proximity to sensitive areas (such as residences, Childcare
Centres, Schools, and workplaces).



Some examples of priority areas might include:




Second storey dwellings or workplaces in close proximity p
ower
lines;




Houses, child care or other occupied sites in close proximity to
transformers; and




Areas with particular configurations of electrical infrastructure
such as high and low voltage lines and transformer which may
cause high levels of EMF.



Ho
wever relocation of above ground power cable does not in itself
reduce EMF exposure and in particular circumstances could even
increase exposure. Careful expert consideration of EMF levels in the
design specification of the proposed relocation works will e
nsure this
does not occur. Auditing of fields before and after installation will also
be a necessary component to confirm that EMF exposure targets
have been met.


3.3.4.

Ecologically Sustainable Construction Processes



Operations should be in compliance with th
e principles of ecologically
sustainable development. In particular:



inter
-
generational equity
: that the present generation should ensure
that the health, diversity and productivity of the environment is
maintained or enhanced for the benefit of future
generations; and,



improved valuation and pricing of environmental resources

in cost
-
benefit and other accounting mechanisms.



Selection of sites should take into account the:




costs of environmental damage and disruption (natural and
built) which is l
ikely as a result of the project; and




optimise the use of material and energy resources which are
required to complete relocation projects. (i.e. projects where
reuse of existing materials will use less resources than projects
where all new materials ar
e required).



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3.3.5.

Social Equity



As far as possible, the benefits of any proposed works should be
spread across the community, regardless of variations in the
community’s ability to pay. Funding models should not be totally
reliant on funding from individ
uals as this will result in benefits from
projects occurring only in those areas with sufficient financial
resources to contribute.



Selected projects should:




Contribute to a balance of pilot project in residential, retail and
industrial areas in the l
ong term;




Deliver the greatest benefit to the greatest number per dollar
invested;




Contribute to a balance of project pilots geographically across
the municipality; and




Be based on an equitable balance of contribution among
stakeholders and beneficiari
es.


3.3.6.

Community Consultation



The community should be educated about the issues and given
access to all relevant information relating to relocation projects. Their
views and experiences should be actively solicited and incorporated
into the assessment and
allocation of priorities to potential relocation
projects. Consultation should also include the provision of accurate
information about the full range of issues and costs and benefits of
relocation projects.



Priority undergrounding projects should clea
rly communicated to the
community. Their level of support, concerns, preparedness to pay and
willingness to endure required disruptions should be factored into the
feasibility assessment for the project.


3.3.7.

Conclusion



By selecting infrastructure relocation

projects that best fit into as
many of the above criteria as possible, we will achieve the following
benefits:




Fulfilment of the objectives in the Council policies and strategies
associated with above ground infrastructure relocation projects;




Broader c
ommunity understanding, acceptance and
satisfaction;




Pilot projects and case studies which display a full range of
advantages; and




Increased potential for funding assistance.




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4.

STRATEGIES TO INCREASE RELOCATION OF ABOVE GROUND
INFRASTRUCTURE IN MOREL
AND


In addition to allocation of monies to relocation projects and the selection of priorities,
Council should aim to increase both the equity of contributions to projects and the rate
and effectiveness of projects. A number of key objectives are relevan
t here and some
will involve liaison with other government bodies and stakeholders. These objectives
are:


1.

To increase the total pool of resources available for undergrounding projects
while ensuring equity of contributions and the provision of efficient c
ontributor
financing options


2.

To select and undertake projects which contribute the greatest range of
benefits to the local community


3.

To provide an improved level of understanding about cable relocation issues in
the community


4.

To increase the amount of n
ew developments (large and small) in Moreland
which underground services and relocate adjacent infrastructure


5.

To capture available synergies by co
-
ordinating capital works with relocation
projects which will reduce the overall costs and disruptions associ
ated with
new works


6.

To promote and develop a broad acceptance and support for the benefits
gained from undergrounding projects and provide an improved level of
understanding about cable relocation issues in the community


7.

To support the development of rel
ocation techniques that decrease the costs
and increase the ease of undergrounding. Do this through investigation, trials
and support of technological and practical development


8.

To support undergrounding projects sponsored by organisations other than
Counc
il.



A number of recommended actions to enable Council to achieve each of these
objectives are set out below.


4.1.

Increase Available Resources While Ensuring Equity And Efficient
Financing Options



The rate of cable infrastructure relocation will be heavily

dependant upon
maximising the resources available. Moreland needs to undertake actions that
increase these resources by increasing its own contribution and seeking a
greater commitment from other stakeholders. While contributions from all
stakeholders a
re important, it is also important to insure that there is a spread
of projects in areas where residents and/or business owners may find it more
difficult to contribute up front funds. In cases where contributions from
landowners are required, Council sho
uld ensure that financing options are
available which are both affordable and convenient.



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Objective



To increase the total pool of resources available for undergrounding projects
while ensuring equity of contributions and the provision of efficient c
ontributor
financing options.


Recommendation 1

Through Council’s involvement with the Commercial Operators Rate Equity
group, Council should seek a broad based rates contribution from all owners
of overhead infrastructure. Council should contribute the
equivalent of the
total net amount of its overhead cable rating proceeds to relocation projects.
Information about the contributions from cables rating revenue will be included
in all publicity and case studies for relocation projects.


Recommendation 2

C
ouncil should coordinate financial mechanisms and packages and facilitate
ratepayer contributions (which enable satisfactory repayment options and low
interest rates).


Recommendation 3

Council should advocate for a cost/benefit study that would include
a
ssessment of the avoided costs and the valuing of intangible benefits such as
improved amenity and safety. This study can then be used to assess
equitable and representative contributions by utilities and responsible
investment by government.


Recommendat
ion 4

Council should lobby electricity companies directly to increase their financial
and in kind contributions to relocation projects in Moreland. Moreland should
base contributions on a reasonable period of savings (eg. 5
-
10 years pay
back period).


R
ecommendation 5

Council should use its customer relationships with electricity and
telecommunications suppliers to improve the quality of communication and
with the view to increasing their in
-
kind and financial contributions to projects
and their cooperat
ion in objectives such as undergrounding.


Recommendation 6

Council use its rating scheme for telecommunications infrastructure to support
relocation projects by reducing rates or giving rate free periods for
undergrounded or relocated cables. Differentia
l rating will increase the
benefits to utilities and provide a greater incentive for contributions to
relocation projects.


Recommendation 7

Monitor, investigate and optimise the use of federal, state or private funding
opportunities.


Recommendation 8

J
oin with other local governments to request that both the MAV and the VLGA
monitor and make submissions to the 2001 Electricity Distribution Price
Review (currently being conducted through the Office of the Regulator
General). Submissions should focus on
how pricing and tariffs for
infrastructure maintenance could be structured to finance utility contributions to
a widespread undergrounding campaign.



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4.2.

Select Projects With The Maximum Benefit Opportunity



Based on the assumption that funding for project
s will be limited in the
foreseeable future, Council should focus its efforts on those projects which
provide the greatest returns in terms of community benefit and momentum of
Moreland’s relocation program. Selection of these projects will need to be
car
efully managed so that they provide (and are seen to provide) the greatest
returns for the available funding.



Objective



To select and undertake projects which contribute the greatest range of
benefits to the local community.


Recommendation 9

Establish

on ongoing steering group made of council staff and council officers
to develop and monitor relocation projects based on the criteria outlined in this
strategy. Projects will be subject to approval by Council.


Recommendation 10

Under take and publish p
eriodic reviews of the relocation program to ascertain
the benefits achieved from projects undertaken in the municipality.


Recommendation 11

Schedule complementary capital improvements which emphasise benefits and
help showcase undergrounding projects.


4.3.

Increase Inclusion Of Underground Services In New Developments



Undergrounding of service provision to new developments is included as a
requirement in Moreland’s Standard Planning Permit Conditions and in most
cases underground connections are achieved.

There is now potential to
increase the amount of underground connections being included in new
buildings which do not require planning approval. By gradually increasing the
proportion of properties who have underground connections the viability and
bene
fits for underground relocation projects will also increase.



Objective



To increase the inclusion of undergrounding of services in new developments
(large and small) in Moreland including undergrounding and relocation of
infrastructure adjacent the site

of the new development.


Recommendation 12

Council advise all applicants for planning permits of Council’s requirements to
underground all service connections.


Recommendation 13

A proportion of developer contributions be allocated for relocation project
s in
the areas adjacent to each development.


Recommendation 14

Council prepare and distribute information sheets relating to the benefits of
underground service connections to builders and owners through the building
approval lodgement process.



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4.4.

Cap
ture Synergies By Co
-
Ordinating Associated Capital Works



There is a significant amount of capital and improvement works which occur
across the municipality each year. Many of these works include renewal of
assets which also need to occur when undergroun
ding projects are
undertaken. For example, road and footpath renewal is a significant
proportion of the costs of undergrounding in retail strips. Planned footpath and
road replacement provides an excellent opportunity to save on this portion of
project c
osts. In addition to cost savings, there is also an opportunity to
minimise disruption to areas.



Objective



To capture available synergies by co
-
ordinating capital works that will reduce
the overall costs and disruptions associated with new works.


Recommendation 15

Council will use works notifications by utilities and consultation with utilities as
a trigger to evaluate the extent of works and the opportunity to underground or
relocate the relevant section (in these instances the costs of the works
may be
used to contribute to costs of relocation). Council should also investigate the
potential for notification of longer term planning for works including capital
renewal works and strategic upgrades.


Recommendation 16

Council complete a three and fiv
e year capital works schedules which identify
likely road, footpath, landscaping, street lighting and right of way works.
These schedules can be used to identify opportunities to integrate
undergrounding works in suitable areas.


Recommendation 17

Council

seek to establish a structured, co
-
operative working relationship with
relevant local infrastructure owners to facilitate co
-
ordinated planning, design
and construction.


4.5.

Promote Understanding And Acceptance Of Relocations Projects



Undergrounding proje
cts will entail a significant investment of both financially
and in staff time. It is important therefore, that broad acceptance for such
projects is established, and developed. Both planned and completed projects
are excellent opportunities to demonstra
te benefits and should be publicised to
residents, utilities and government bodies.



Objective



Promote and develop the awareness of the costs and benefits of relocation
projects and foster a broad acceptance and support for undergrounding
projects (wi
thin utilities, governments bodies and the community).



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Recommendation 18

Broadly advertise and distribute this strategy document to inform all
stakeholders that Moreland will be seeking undergrounding of all new
infrastructure and contributions to relo
cation for existing infrastructure.


Recommendation 19

Collate and seek publication of case study information from each of the
relocation projects undertaken in Moreland.


Recommendation 20

Monitor and provide comment on discussion papers and strategies w
hich
relate to undergrounding projects (focus on publicising the experiences
obtained from completed projects).


Recommendation 21

Council develop relationships with and lobby organisations such as the MAV,
VLGA, ALGA, CORE group of Councils and other Coun
cils to prepare and
provide responses to relevant undergrounding discussion papers such as cost
benefit models.


4.6.

Support Development Of Relocation Techniques



One of the limitations of comprehensive relocation programs is the high costs
of works. One sol
ution that typically increases the feasibility of new projects is
the development of technology and systems that reduce the costs of cable
relocation.



Objective



To investigate, trial and support technological and practical development of
methods which

will decrease the costs and increase the ease of
undergrounding projects. Active participation of utilities should be sought in
this process.


Recommendation 22

When receiving quotations for mitigation works, emphasis should be placed on
the specific outc
omes required, rather than prescribing undergrounding as the
only acceptable solution. This will allow for innovation of practice while
achieving objectives for individual projects.


Recommendation 23

When seeking quotations for undergrounding works, Coun
cil will ensure that
contractors who may employ different methods receive a fair opportunity to
quote in consultation with utility companies regarding their requirements (i.e.
advertise in national media and actively invite known companies to contribute).


Recommendations 24

Council seek to be involved with trial projects which aim to demonstrate new
relocation techniques.


Recommendation 25

Council investigate how Telstra’s Pay TV undergrounding experience has led
to new technologies and practices which
may contribute to the reduction of
costs and disruption to other undergrounding projects.



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4.7.

Support Undergrounding Projects Sponsored By Other Groups



While Council is in a good position to facilitate infrastructure relocation
applications and works,
it will only be able to directly manage a limited amount
of projects. Funding support is not only available to Councils but also to a
wide range of other groups. Council should provide assistance and advice to
those groups who wish to approach funding bo
dies for direct assistance.



Objective



Increase the number of undergrounding projects sponsored by organisations
other than Council.


Recommendation 26.

Council distribute information which encourages groups to make applications
for undergrounding proje
cts, (specifically residential street groups).


Recommendation 27

Council approach the MAV, VLGA and funding bodies to coordinate and
contribute to the compilation, production and distribution of a kit which
encourages and assists street groups make indivi
dual applications to funding
bodies and utilities.



5.

WHERE TO FROM HERE


5.1.

Implementation



Project ownership responsibilities for the Relocating Overhead Cables
Strategy will rest with the Director City Strategy. The strategy has a number of
recommendation
s that require specific actions from Council. These actions
will be project managed by a Council steering group. This group will
incorporate members from a broad range of Council activity areas and
therefore will be able to effectively delegate all the a
ctions required to fulfil the
strategy’s recommendations. They will complete an action plan which displays
how, when and by whom the tasks in this strategy will be completed.



The Strategy also include criteria upon which site selection for relocation
pr
ojects can be based. The steering group will use these criteria to allocate
available funding to priority projects and seek contributory funding. Selected
sites will be forwarded to Council for approval.


5.2.

Monitoring and Review



The strategy includes a
reas of review for individual relocation projects.
Periodically it will also be necessary to review and update both the action plan
and the strategy areas to ensure all recommended actions are occurring on
time and that reporting on individual projects is

occurring. Reports should be
made to the Director City Strategy who will in turn inform Council.



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6.

CONCLUSION



Moreland City Council believes it is imperative to achieve commitment to a national
strategy that includes workable funding agreements and i
nvolves:




Federal, state and local governments;




Electricity distribution companies;




Telecommunication companies; and




The community.



Both national and local relocation programs and strategies should be based upon a
cost
-
sharing which equitably dist
ributes the cost of undergrounding between the
stakeholders. In addition the cost
-
sharing should ensure that adverse equity and
distortion effects are minimised through a careful assessment of the social,
environmental and economic implications of the pro
posed cost
-
sharing.



In the interim Moreland has undertaken to begin a local undergrounding program
which focuses on increasing the funds available and applying them to areas of highest
priority and returns.