On 3 July 2010 Queensland officially enforced Australian jurisdiction to enshrine Dial Before You Dig in law. The formal name for the legislation is the Energy Legislation Amendment (Infrastructure Protection) Act 2009. This Act and supporting Regulations changed the legal requirements for anyone excavating near gas and electricity networks in New South Wales. What are some of the new obligations for people digging in Queensland? As a bare minimum, it is required to to notify Dial Before You Dig of the time and place of work no more than thirty days before the work starts. As soon as you receive the plans, you are able to start the works as long as you have satisfied any other requirements set by the network operator. If the asset owner believes that excavation works could damage or interfere with its network, under current legislation they can issue a notice requiring changes to the excavation work. They also have full rights to prohibit any works proposed. In the rare occasion any gas, comms or electricity networks are damaged on site, the operator of the network must be notified immediately. The penalty for interference with electricity or gas works has been doubled to $22,000 for individuals and $440,000 for corporations. The maximum jail sentence has also been increased to five years. You are legally obligated to use the Dial Before You Dig (DBYD) service, which is a free national community service designed to prevent damage and disruption to the vast pipe and cable networks which provide Australia with the essential services. Before digging, you have a legal duty of care to take all appropriate steps to identify, locate and protect gas pipelines and underground services from damage or interference due to your work. Plan the work early. The first step is to request plans and information from Dial Before You Dig – this service is fast and free and operates 24/7. You can also get in touch with us here, to manage this process for you.