What is an easement?

A corridor of land, or ‘right of way’, for transmission circuits is secured by an easement. An easement confers a right to a third party, in this instance Basslink, to gain access to private property used or occupied by its infrastructure. It is acquired for a specific purpose. However, the registration of an easement over private land does not affect land ownership – the landholder continues to own and have rights over the land affected by the easement.

For Basslink, easements have been established for the transmission line or underground cable. In some cases there are also easements for access, for example where it is not appropriate to access a tower along the infrastructure easement.

The average width of an easement for the overhead transmission line will be around 55 metres. The easement allows for the swing of the lines due to wind, plus vegetation and electrical safety clearances.

The width of an easement for the underground cable is 11.5 metres.

Further advice can be found in our living with easements brochure, a copy of which can be downloaded here, Living With Easements Brochure. Please note that if you have any doubt about what you can or cannot do on an easement please contact us via contacts page. If you require an urgent response, for example to a downed transmission line, please contact our emergency hotline:

Easement Emergency Hotline: 1800 011 165

If you are preparing to dig any type of excavation remember to Dial Before You Dig on 1100. Damage to underground assets is not only costly it can be extremely unsafe and may lead to death or severe disability.

What you can do on an easement

There are many activities which are not restricted by transmission line easements of which grazing is an obvious example. These include:

  • Grazing, agriculture, and market gardens;
  • Roadways and bicycle paths;
  • Parking of sedans and utility type vehicles; Loads and aerials cannot be higher than three metres;
  • Mobile plant and equipment such as tractors or bulldozers with a maximum operating height of three metres.

What you can’t do on an easement

There are some restrictions on activities in electricity easements. The primary concern is safety. Restrictions include:

  • Building houses (including eaves), other buildings or structures;
  • installing swimming pools or pool filtration equipment;
  • using vehicles and equipment exceeding three metres in height;
  • parking trucks and caravans;
  • Storing flammable liquids or gases;
  • Building haystacks;
  • Storing explosives;
  • Storing garbage, timber, sand or other materials.

Restrictions on overhead transmission line easements include:

  • Placing metal pipes, power cables and other electrically conductive services within a 25 metres from tower steelwork;
  • Excavating within 25 metres of a tower without prior written approval;
  • Operating plant and equipment over three metres in height without approval;
  • Operating large spray irrigators such as high pressure gun or boom types;
  • Flying kites or model aircraft controlled by wire within 45 metres of lines;

Restrictions on underground cable easements include:

  • Driving fence posts or stakes or planting trees in the ground within an underground cable easement;
  • Excavating or cultivating to a depth of more than 0.3 metres.

If you have any doubt about what you can or cannot do on an easement please contact us before you doing anything that may impact on the safety of you, your family or the public.