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“Climbing Games” highlight safety message

It may have taken humans millions of years to come down from the trees but these expert climbers take just seconds to get back up there.

Tree climbers and arborists from across the globe will be showcasing their amazing skills in Perth this weekend. Experts from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore will go head-to-head during the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Asia Pacific Tree Climbing Championships.

Western Power’s head of works program planning Tamara Brooker said the skills displayed by competitors’ highlights why property owners and occupiers should use professionals to clear vegetation from powerlines.

“During a storm event over 60 per cent of outages are caused by trees and vegetation falling or being blown into powerlines, which create safety hazards and bring down poles or wires,” Mrs Brooker said.

“You only have to look back to recent storms to see the damage trees and vegetation can have if it falls in the wrong place. The frustrating thing is that a majority of outages are preventable with some early intervention.”

Mrs Brooker spoke about parts of the network on private property that need checking, and called on the community to play a role.

“We are playing our part to reduce the risk of outages and bushfires in summer, but we can’t be everywhere and it takes a whole community effort.”

“We’re asking you to take 10 minutes to walk around your home, and check trees or plants are well clear of poles or powerlines on your property.”

When dealing with trees near powerlines Western Power recommends the use of a qualified arborists to safely prune back branches.

“Seeing the level of skill on display, we appreciate that trimming trees and branches near powerlines is not a job for the homeowner, which is why we recommend qualified arborists.”

Western Power invests $25 million in year-round vegetation management to reduce the likelihood of outages and $7.5 million of that goes directly to manage bushfire risk in high or extreme risk areas.

“Since commencing the bushfire mitigation program for this year our crews are on target to clear trees and other vegetation away from approximately 700 kilometres of the network in bushfire risk areas. That’s enough network to stretch from Perth to Esperance,” said Mrs Brooker.

The Tree Climbing Championships will see competitors judged on their safety, speed, poise and initiative as they battle it out over multiple events including speed climbing, obstacle courses and rescue climbs.

Watch all the action

Check out the Asia Pacific Tree Climbing Championships for yourself: 

  • Saturday 21 October and Sunday 22 October 2017
  • All day
  • Matilda Bay, Crawley
  • Free entry, just come along and enjoy the action
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