Project objective

Council is seeking feedback on a draft policy relating to the undergrounding of powerlines which will consider:

a. the prioritisation of undergrounding powerlines in association with:

i. Council projects

ii. public open space

iii. the general street network

b. the funding models and the associated criteria

This initiative was put forward at the Council Meeting held in October 2021.

As part of this initiative, a Special Charge Scheme (SCS) has also been developed to be able to move ahead with opportunities to proceed with projects that would improve the amenity of relevant community members.

Project impacts

Some sectors of the community are keen to introduce undergrounding of powerlines to improve visual amenity and the impact on the environment.

The proposed policy provides four funding tools to support any future possibility of the undergrounding of powerlines, which are:

  • Full cost to be borne by Council through Capital Works funded projects
  • Government grants – No grants currently available, however would need to continuously monitor.
  • Special Rates and Special Charge Scheme
  • Full cost to be covered by community

In the case of a Special Rate and Special Charge Scheme, if the majority of residents in a street or area support the proposal, this affects the dissenting residents as they will need to contribute to the SCS even if they oppose the initiative.

If the majority opposes the proposal, then the supporting residents lose the opportunity to go ahead with the undergrounding of powerlines. Therefore, it is critical to ensure the community are provided the opportunity to input into the policy.

Full upfront costs will need to be paid by Council and administer the program to cover the costs from residents.

What information do we need from the community?

What can the community influence?

  • process and procedures which will feed into the policy.

What can’t the community influence?

  • the format of how a Special Charge Scheme is initiated and carried out is governed by the Local Government Act and selected Ministerial Guidelines.

Stakeholders and community

This stakeholder assessment is a generalised understanding of sections of the community that have a connection to the project or matter. This information is used to understand the types of tools and techniques that will achieve the strongest and most effective outcomes for engagement and communication.

Impact: What level of change the stakeholder / community segment may experience as a result of the project / matter

Interest: What level of interest has been expressed or is anticipated

Influence: Reference to the IAP2 Spectrum

Stakeholder / community




Bayside residents








Environmental groups




Selected tools and techniques

The tools and techniques selected for this project are informed by the project content, stakeholders and type of feedback sought. The ongoing impacts of COVID-19 may restrict our ability for face-to-face communication, as well as slower distribution of printed mail.

Key tools for communicating the project

  • email notification to Have Your Say members
  • website news story and This Week in Bayside e-newsletter
  • Let’s Talk Bayside magazine
  • social media posts – organic and paid
  • direct emails to key stakeholder groups
  • Digital screens in Libraries and Corporate Centre.

Key methods for gathering feedback

  • online engagement through Have Your Say, including opportunity to ask questions, as well as provide feedback
  • phone, post and correspondence
  • Presentation to Committees of Council and reference groups, including the Disability Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee, and the Bayside Healthy Ageing Reference Group.


  • Timeline item 1 - complete

    Investigate options to support undergrounding powerlines

    Development of draft Undergrounding Powerlines Policy

  • Timeline item 2 - active

    Community consultation

    1 August – 4 September 2022

    Read about how we’re engagement with our community on this project.

    Community feedback will be considered and amendments made to the draft Policy, as required.

  • Timeline item 3 - incomplete

    Policy adopted

    Council is expected to consider community feedback and adopting a proposed Policy at its November 2022 meeting.

Decision-making process

Community consultation will be open for a minimum of four weeks, and is expected to commence in August 2022. Following this, Council will consider community feedback and adoption of the Policy at a future meeting.

Project subscribers will be notified of the results of the engagement and the Council report at this time. To receive updates on this project, click on the blue 'subscribe' button at the top of this page.

The agenda for Council meetings, including the community engagement report, will be published on the Wednesday before the Council meeting via Council's website.

All Council meetings are live-streamed via Council’s website. Interested members of the community can ask a question of this meeting or request to be heard.

Who's listening?

If you would like more information, printed materials, or to make a submission by post or anonymously, please contact Katerina via the details below:

Katerina Kaldellis

Coordinator Asset Protection

Bayside City Council, 76 Royal Avenue, Sandringham VIC 3191
D 9599 4350