Electricity crossings of NSW navigable waterways
This system for electricity crossings of NSW navigable waterways is designed to promote safety and awareness for boaters.
About the system
This system is designed to promote safety in the vicinity of electrical cables that cross navigable waters. It was developed by Transport for NSW (Maritime), together with the electricity network operators and their regulator (the Department of Water and Energy).
While there are relatively few incidents involving crossings on navigable waters, the consequences when they do occur can be severe. So it’s important to manage these risks appropriately.
In an initial phase, the overhead crossings that pose the greatest risk to navigation safety will be modified by the electricity network operators, to reduce risk to acceptable levels. Then, where necessary, the remaining crossings will be progressively modified, to reduce the risk to acceptable levels.
A network operator is an agency which operates an electricity distribution network comprising electricity cables and their supporting overhead structures, such as towers, poles, and submarine cables.
The major network operators in NSW are Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy, Essential Energy and TransGrid.
The new system is based on managing the risks involved in crossings, particularly overhead crossings.
Under the new system, the network operators are required to undertake research into vessel traffic patterns and movements when planning a new overhead crossing. They’ll therefore consult with Transport, local boating industry operators and waterway user groups on such occasions.
They’ll use this information to determine the appropriate type of crossing (ie submarine or overhead), the appropriate location and, if an overhead crossing is to be constructed, the required height. They’ll then be required to place signage designed by Transport, at the crossing and at any boat ramps within 5km of the crossing.
Existing crossings and their signage will progressively be examined and upgraded where necessary, to ensure that they meet the new safety requirements.
The network operators are also required to undertake regular inspections and maintenance of the crossings and their associated signage.
As a vessel operator, you must:
- Know the height of your vessel above the waterline.
- Keep a good lookout for crossings and their associated signage and comply with the messages on the signage.
- Be particularly careful during the change-over period from the old signage to the new signage.
You’re also encouraged to:
- Attach the crossings sticker to your vessel near the steering position as this will help you remember the height of your vessel above the waterline.
- Report overhanging vegetation or any other problems concerning crossings to the network operators or Transport, as soon as possible.
Signs and stickers
Educational stickers are designed to help vessel operators navigate safely under overhead crossings.
The sticker lists some key things to remember about crossing safety and allows. If used properly and placed near the steering position, the sticker will remind you and advise others, of the height of your vessel above the waterline.
When you read the height displayed on the new overhead crossing warning sign and compare it with the sticker, you’ll easily be able to tell whether your vessel can navigate safely under the crossing.
Stickers are available from any service centre and from boat dealers, marinas, clubs and associations.
Crossings signs will progressively replace existing signs. Signs will be placed at boat ramps. Familiarise yourself with the signs below, so you know what to look for.
Reporting damage to signs and crossings
Help us keep waterways safe by reporting any problems such as:
- Signs that have been vandalised or washed away,
- Signs obscured by overgrown vegetation or anything else, or
- If it appears that a crossing is not in order for some other reason (eg. the banks have been eroded in a flood and the poles are leaning
Report the issue and location of the sign directly to the network operator indicated on the sign or to Transport on 13 12 56.