The devestating 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires, which came midway through the MRA’s 20-year campaign, delivered a sobering boost to the MRA’s cause – the authorities had to start to acknowledge the risks inherent in overhead power lines in bush-dense suburban settlements and make the living environment safe.
ETSA had its own solution which is still evident today – either cut down the trees or massively prune them. A stark illustration of this heavy-handed approach is offered just across Morialta’s border with Campbelltown, where native trees along Stradbroke Road opposite the lower car park of the Morialta Conservation Park, are routinely pollarded and pruned to keep them clear of power lines.
Happily that solution is not necessary in Morialta.
The 20-year battle to underground Morialta’s power lines was the defining achievement of the Morialta Residents’ Association. The energetic campaign to remove the unsightly stobie poles and place electricity and telephone cables below ground was pivotal in conserving the environmental ambience of our tree-clad streets and gardens.
It was achieved in the face of persistent bureaucratic obstacles, financed largely by residents themselves and stands as a testament to the power of motivated community groups who stick to their goals.
With support from the then East Torrens Council and a few key Members of Parliament the campaign from 1970 to 1990 was ultimately successful.
Stobie poles that still remain – an ugly scene along the Morialta Conservation park boundary adjoining the MRA area on Stradbroke Road.
Removal of overhead cables in Morialta was cause for celebration by local residents who fought long and hard to protect their environment.
One of the last remaining stobie poles being removed from the streets of Morialta.
Morialta Residents' Association 2017