Power Equipment Australasia

ESV CAUTIONS RESIDENTS TO KEEP CLEAR OF POWERLINES WHILE GARDENING Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) is urging people carrying out gardening activities to keep clear of powerlines following a series of incidents involving service lines being accidently cut by hedge trimmers and pruners. Service lines are single-span powerlines connecting power to houses on private land. Since December 2021, ESV has investigated 14 incidents where members of the public made contact with service lines while carrying out gardening activities. The incidents occurred in Geelong, Mulgrave, Brighton, Camperdown, Safety Beach, St Kilda, Chadstone, Stawell, Tatura and Moorabbin with a number of people sent to hospital with burns and electric shock. Fortunately, there were no fatalities. Residents are encouraged to maintain vegetation on their property at least one metre clear of the private service line that connects their property to the distribution lines in the street. The majority of incidents involved residents trimming vegetation on their own property but in some cases, professional gardeners and tree clearing contractors were at fault. These incidents are breaches of the Electricity Safety (General) Regulations and may result in ESV taking enforcement action against those responsible. “Homeowners and workers should take steps to identify where the service line is located on a property and take measures to avoid coming into contact with it or face the riskof seriouspersonal injury, or electrocution“. Other important safety tips include: - E nsure the location of all service lines are identified before pruning commences. - I f hiring arborists, ensure personnel are qualified and suitably experienced. - I f service lines are damaged, contact the relevant electrical distribution business immediately. - K eep equipment, such as ladders, at least three metres from the service line. - S tay more than 10 metres away from any fallen service line and always treat fallen powerlines as live even when they are broken. - I f Victorians are concerned about trees on their property near any service lines, they can contact their relevant electricity distribution company. For more information log on to www.esv.vic.gov.au/industry-guidance/ electrical/line-clearance. TABLE GRAPE INDUSTRY RIPE FOR GROWTH IN NORTHERN AUSTRALIA The University of Western Australia has launched a four-year research mission to make table grapes one of the most valuable fruit crops in Northern Australia. The research team aims to develop novel practices that will enhance the commercial cropping of table grapes in subtropical and tropical Australia (which is outside their traditional climate range) to boost yields and bring domestic fruit tomarket months earlier. The project is jointly funded by the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA), table grape grower Fruitico, UWA and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD). It will be led by Associate Professor Michael Considine, who is an ARC Future Fellow at TheUWA Institute of Agriculture and School of Molecular Sciences and a research scientist at DPIRD. The current value of table grape production in Australia is about $750 million – generating $620 million in export value, which has tripled since 2012. Hort Innovation Australia rank table grapes as the third largest fresh fruit import commodity and largest fresh fruit export commodity in Australia. Associate Professor Considine said the table grape industry in Northern Australia was currently considered “high risk”. The researchers will develop novel combinations of management practices that are tailored to the climate, in effect ‘de-risking’ production and increasing investment in growing table grapes in the region. “If table grape production could be expanded in Northern Australia, the opportunity for import replacements alone is $85 million per annum,” Associate Professor Considine said. “Additionally, it will increase jobs and social benefits, including Aboriginal cooperatives.” Industry partners DPIRD and Fruitico will work together with UWA to encourage growth of expertise in the viticulture industry. Associate Professor Considine said the major focus was currently Broome, where Fruitico have established vineyards and land ready for expansion, and researchers will soon direct their attention to Carnarvon. “These two locations will act as case study hubs, from where we will develop and implement knowledge-based management programs for table grapes that enable increased yield inNorthernAustralia,” he said. CERATIZIT UNVEILS NEW WATERJET NOZZLE PORTFOLIO Waterjet cutting is recognised as a reliable alternative to conventional cutting processes. Extremely smooth cut edges without thermal stress, post-processing, and minimal kerfs are just a few of the advantages of the cutting process for a wide range of materials and applications. A key factor for efficient processes is the waterjet nozzles. With the newHyproJET portfolio, CERATIZIT aims to set new standards for quality and durability. Waterjet cutting works as simply as it is effective: the cutting head directs a fine jet of water at high pressure of up to 6,000 bar, a jet diameter of 0.38 to 1.02 millimeters. In this stress-free cutting process, the material particles close to the surface are cut off without any heat being introduced into the material. This process is an optimal solution for temperature-sensitive and thick materials with complex geometries. “We developedourHyproJETrangewith three standard water jet nozzles to meet these needs: narrow hole tolerances, perfect cutting and radial run-out accuracy ensure precise working results,” Mesut Goksu, Segment Account Manager at CERATIZIT said. NEWS UWA Associate Professor Michael Considine. 8 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | MARCH - APRIL 2023