Bat Causes Friday’s Lane Cove West and Riverview Power Outage

    On Friday 18th May 2019 over 1500 homes in Lane Cove, Lane Cove West, Riverview, Gladesville and Hunters Hill suffered a power outage.  They also suffered a power outage on the Friday 11 May 2018.

    Lane Cove residents took to Facebook and Twitter to voice their frustration.  Lane Cove takeaways were very busy.  In fact, it was all they were talking about at Chargrill Charlies on Friday night (according to Mr ITC).

    ITC asked Ausgrid to explain the reason for the blackout.  Ausgrid advised ITC that a bat contacted 11 kV wires.

    ITC has been keeping a track of power outages in the Lane Cove Council area since January 2017.  Here are the reasons provided for the outages.

    Date of Power Outage Reason
    11th  Jan 2017 Wildlife Touching Terminals on Transformer
    8th March 2017 Flying Fox hitting Wires
    16th March 2017 Underground Cable Fault
    17th March 2017 Tree on Powerlines
    10th July 2017 Overhead Power Line Damage
    18th July 2017 Bat flew into wires
    14th February 2018 High Winds and Tree on Powerlines
    18th May 2018 Bat flew into wires


    Bats are nocturnal and leave their daytime roosts at dusk – which is why many power outages happen around dinner time.

    According to Ausgrid almost half of all outages on the Ausgrid network are caused by external factors such as trees and branches falling on powerlines, lightning strikes and wind damage during storms, wildlife contacting powerlines, cars hitting power poles and vandalism of equipment.  Leafy Lane Cove is well known to have power issues relating to nature. 

    If you notice that trees are close to powerlines you can take the following actions.

    If you see a dangerous branch or tree, that is not on private property, you can report it to the Lane Cove Council. Lane Cove Council has a very conservative approach to trees and have developed Tree Preservation Regulatory Controls which aim to retain as many healthy trees as possible.

    The general rule of thumb is that if the street tree is on public property and its branches overhang powerlines or the tree is located within 3 metres of power lines then Ausgrid is responsible for determining if it requires trimming or removal. Only Ausgrid’s authorised contractors are allowed to remove trees or branches near live wires and they will be required to respond in the first instance, prior to Council. To report street tree maintenance near power lines you can complete the reporting form on Ausgrid’s website

    In the case of an emergency involving power lines do not fill out the online form – instead, contact Ausgrid immediately on 13 13 88.

    An easy way to report most of the above issues is Snap Send Solve – This app is designed to help you quickly and easily report issues to local government. Take a picture of the problem, upload it with the app and it is sent to the relevant local council using GPS data.


    Do you have a local issue you would like help with? ITC is here to help just email us at [email protected]

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