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The underground pipeline and power supply for the Victorian desalination plant operate within an easement. An easement gives another person or entity the right to access or use your property for a specific purpose.
You will be informed in advance when routine access to the easement is required at your property. This may not be possible in an emergency.
Before undertaking any type of work near the Victorian Desalination Project underground pipeline or power supply easement, you must contact Before You Dig Australia.
Depending on the location of your property, the easement may contain combinations of the following assets:
- The transfer pipeline that pumps drinking water from the desalination plant to our catchments.
- The power cable that supplies power to the plant from Cranbourne.
- Fibre optic cables that monitor the pipeline and power supply systems.
- Some above-ground and underground assets, including cables, valves, pits and signs.
What am I allowed to do on the easement?
It’s OK to graze animals and mow the grass on the easement. The conditions that apply to how you can use the easement land are described in the Memorandum of Common Provisions, which is registered on the property title.
In general, you may continue to use the easement land so long as that use does not interfere with the right to operate and maintain the utility assets. If the use may interfere with that right, you need written consent before starting work.
Where are the utility assets located?
The utility assets are underground. Some pits are partly above ground. Signage along the 92 km of easements between Berwick/Cranbourne and the desalination plant near Wonthaggi highlights that underground assets are in place.
Before You Dig must be contacted before any works that break the surface of the ground are undertaken in their vicinity.
Maps identifying properties subject to the Victorian Desalination Project easement.
What am I not allowed to do?
For activities that break the surface of the ground, including digging, ploughing, installing fence posts, boring or excavating, it’s essential that you first visit Before You Dig Australia.
Without prior written consent you must not do any of the following on or under the easement:
- Plant or permit planting of any trees or shrubs
- Erect any structure, foundation, pavement, pipeline, services or other improvements
- Store flammable or explosive materials
- Use or permit use of any explosive materials
- Alter or permit to be altered (other than by nature) the grade and contours
- Install fixed plant, equipment, materials or facilities
- Dig or plough
- Interfere with the Acquired Rights described in the Memorandum of Common Provisions.
This also applies to any contractors that may be working on your property.
Before You Dig Australia provides free advice about:
- the location of any underground pipes and cables
- how you can work safely and carefully while excavating near underground assets.
What are the risks?
- Damaging the underground assets may result in death or life-threatening injuries
- You may be held financially liable for any damage you cause to the utility assets or signage
- Be sure to maintain easy access to the utility assets at all times
- Observe the conditions of use in the Memorandum of Common Provisions
How should I obtain permission for land use that may interfere with the operation or maintenance of the utility assets?
In general, you may continue to use the easement land so long as that use does not interfere with the right to operate and maintain the utility assets.
If the use may interfere with that right, then you need prior written consent.
Contact Before You Dig Australia or AquaSure and they will start the process that considers your proposal and give you the next steps.
1. Application stage
Proposals that involve breaking the surface of the ground are lodged with Before You Dig Australia.
Proposals for other land use are lodged with AquaSure.
2. Assessment stage
The proposal is assessed by the parties involved in operation and maintenance of the utility assets.
3. Decision stage
A written response is sent to the applicant and/or a request for more information (if required).
Page last updated: 08/09/23