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Currently NSW is the only state where it is a legal requirement to use the BYD referral service prior to carrying out excavation works. This legal requirement is outlined in the Energy Legislation Amendment (Infrastructure Protection) Act 2009 where anyone excavating near gas and electricity networks in NSW must notify Before You Dig Australia.

NSW Legislation

In New South Wales, it is a legal requirement under the Energy Legislation Amendment (Infrastructure Protection) Act 2009 for anyone excavating near gas and electricity networks in NSW to notify Before You Dig Australia.

There are regulations to support this legislation, including:

Electricity Supply (Safety and Network Management) Regulation 2014

Gas Supply (Safety and Network Management) Regulation 2013

 

Under the Regulations, Before You Dig Australia must be notified for:

  • almost all work on private property, including work approved by a Council
  • work by a public authority and;
  • work on underground utility services.

There are exemptions for:

  • emergency work and;
  • potholing to find underground networks.

If a network operator believes that excavation works could damage or interfere with its network, they can issue a notice requiring changes to the excavation work. If required, the work can also be prohibited. Damage to gas and electricity networks must be notified to the operator of the network as soon as possible.

The penalty for interference with electricity or gas works has been doubled to $22,000 for individuals and $440,000 for corporations. The maximum jail sentence has also been increased to five years.

Gas and electricity network operators can recover the costs of damage to their mains and cables. The representatives of gas and electricity network operators have also been given increased powers to enter premises to repair networks or serve notices.

The Work Health and Safety and WorkSafe codes of practice applicable in each state is outlined here.