Fire-resistant products are being tested on power poles in central Queensland in an Ergon Energy initiative.
Manager line standards Carmelo Noel said the trial included a paint-on application and a fabric wrap.
“The purpose of the trial is to see how effective these products are when applied to our power poles in the harsh Central Queensland environment,” Mr Noel said.
“We are initially looking at how well the products remain attached to our poles, but of course the real test will come when they are exposed to a bushfire.
“They would only have to prevent a small number of poles from needing to be replaced as a result of a bushfire to be a good investment in high risk areas.”
Mr Noel said 21 poles had been painted, the wrap applied to 15, and one pole had both products applied for the trial.
“These poles are predominantly in remote locations where we have experienced bushfires previously and are at higher risk of bushfires in future,” he said.
“The locations include poles on the Northern Line near Ogmore, Marlborough and St Lawrence, on the Mt Morgan range near Bouldercombe, near Princhester station and on a section of Gladstone-Benaraby Road.
“There’s also one trial site for each product in the Rockhampton CBD for easier monitoring by the project team of the durability of the products under normal conditions.”
Mr Noel said the trial would continue indefinitely until at least some of the poles had been exposed to a bushfire.
“After that, we’ll be able to assess the costs and benefits of potentially extending the trial to other bushfire-prone areas across the state,” he said.