Tell me about the project


    Gumeracha is one of the key regional centres in the Adelaide Hills Council (AHC) area, located on the Adelaide-Mannum Road, about 37km from Adelaide. It has a population of approximately 700 residents and is surrounded by large tracts of orchards, grape growing and dairy farms. Albert Street, Gumeracha’s “Main Street”, carries around 3,700 vehicles per day. Gumeracha is the home of the Big Rocking Horse and the annual Medieval Fair, both major tourist attractors to the area.

    Currently, the centre of Gumeracha presents as tired and in need for revitalisation. In mid-2016 the community-led Gumeracha Main Street Project Group (GMSPG) was formed to gather ideas and ensure their implementation to improve Gumeracha’s streetscape and visitors’ experience. GMSPG’s main objective is to advance the amenity, functionality and business prosperity of Albert Street in Gumeracha.

    During community engagement the undergrounding of overhead powerlines was identified as a key catalyst helping to improve the street amenity. Other streetscape improvements include street furniture and to replace the existing trees.

    The Gumeracha Main Street Upgrade project will deliver a range of improvements, including underground power lines, stormwater system, better pedestrian connectivity and a safer streetscape environment for Gumeracha’s ‘Village Heart’. This community streetscape project is delivered in close partnership with SA Power Networks and the Gumeracha Main Street Project Group.

    During community engagement, the section of Albert Street between Victoria Street and John Fisher Avenue, was identified as the “heart” of the Gumeracha village and will see most of the changes.

    Adelaide Hills Council is working closely with the Gumeracha Main Street Project Group and engaged Jensen PLUS for community engagement and design services.

    The Master Plan for the precinct was endorsed by Council in December 2018 following an extensive and award-winning community engagement process.

    A list of frequently asked questions has been collated to the right of this page.

    The Master Plan identified the following five key ideas:

    1. New street tree and amenity planting
    2. Increase seating and replace bus stops
    3. New signage to support Albert Street and businesses in the adjacent streets
    4. New protuberances to slow and calm traffic at John Fisher Avenue, the Medical Centre and Victoria Street and make it easier to cross the road
    5. Increase art opportunities within the streetscape

    Adelaide Hills Council recognises the benefits of making places more pedestrian friendly and encourages an active community. We also recognise the economic benefits of having our main streets in townships designed in a way that it supports business.

    What will the project include?

    The Main Street Gumeracha project includes

    1. The undergrounding of existing power lines (PLEC),
    2. Installation of stormwater infrastructure, and
    3. Streetscape improvements along Albert Street

    The total project will include the section of Albert Street between the Soldiers Memorial Hospital and Randell Terrace.

    The undergrounding of the power lines is in two stages which are envisaged to be carried out seamlessly. Stage 1 covers Victoria St to John Fisher St, Stage 2 continues up to Randell Terrace. The undergrounding works are scheduled to commence in March 2020 with an approximate completion date for late 2020 / early 2021.

    Stormwater works are to be coordinated with the powerline undergrounding works.

    Implementation of streetscape improvements, including art installations are expected to commence around March 2020.

    Federation Park and Oval improvements are not part of this project. A separate Master Plan was approved for Federation Park and Oval and will be implemented once a budget and process have been approved.

    What does PLEC mean?

    PLEC stands for Power Line Environment Committee, a South Australian committee assisting the State Minister responsible for the Electricity Act 1996 and councils with initiatives to enhance the aesthetics of a location by undergrounding power lines. It predominantly focusses on historic areas, major shopping precincts and other areas of community benefit in metropolitan and regional areas of the State.

    SA Power Networks (SAPN, formerly ETSA) are responsible for carrying out works relating to undergrounding power lines.

    A PLEC scheme is designed to assist Councils to meet their objectives of improving the appearance of a locality. This is achieved through the undergrounding of power lines in conjunction with aesthetic improvements to the locale for the benefit of the community.

    The costs of a PLEC project are equally shared by PLEC, SAPN and Council.

    Why underground the power lines on Albert Street?

    In 2016 the community-led Gumeracha Main Street Project Group (GMSPG) was formed to gather ideas and improve Gumeracha’s streetscape and visitors’ experience. During community engagement the undergrounding of overhead powerlines was identified as a key catalyst helping to improve the street amenity, provide trees for shade and shelter and ensure that the Main Street is more welcoming for residents, businesses and tourists.

    Where will the project occur?

    The streetscape improvements, stormwater and Stage 1 of the undergrounding will occur along Albert Street from west of Victoria St to the child care north of John Fisher St. Stage 2 of the undergrounding is from Federation Park to Randell Terrace.

    John Fisher St will see the removal of the first three stobie poles from its Albert Street intersection.

    Who will be doing the works?

    In regards to the three separate projects:

    1. SAPN will engage a contractor to undertake undergrounding and related works. Council’s role in the undergrounding part of the project is to engage with the community and keep them informed while liaising with SAPN and contractors.

    2. Council will undertake the stormwater and streetscape works with external contractors.

    What’s the timeline?

    PLEC works are scheduled to commence in May/ June 2020 and are expected to be completed late 2020/early 2021.

    Detailed design for the streetscape improvements has been finalised and Council will tender for construction May/ June 2020. Construction of the streetscape improvements within the footpath areas will need to follow PLEC works to avoid damaging streetscape works.

    Below is an indicative timeline for the various project elements (as at April 2020). Due to the Corona Virus pandemic it is currently very difficult to predict any timelines and contractor availability.

    Indicative Timetable

    Action / Activity

    Indicative Timeline

    Undergrounding Power Lines (PLEC)

    • Finalise design / tender for construction

    January – April / May 2020

    • Civil works (trenching)

    May / June – November 2020

    • Cabling

    August  – December 2020

    • Removing stobie poles

    Late 2020 / early 2021

    Stormwater Upgrade

    • Finalise design / tender for construction

    January – May 2020

    • Construction

    Follow PLEC Stage 1,

    Commence later this year  

    Streetscape Improvements 

    • Art Wall preparation and installation

    May - July 2020

    • Finalise design / tender for construction

    April – June 2020

    • Construction

    Once PLEC Stage 1 is complete

    Aiming for Nov/Dec start


    What do PLEC works include?

    The undergrounding of power lines requires civil construction works to establish a service trench to house conduits for the new power lines. There will also be a number of new electrical switching cubicles installed.

    PLEC works will occur in three stages:

    • Civil works – trenching, laying conduits, refill trenches and reinstate trenched areas.
    • Cabling works – pulling cables through new conduits, connect properties, energise cables and switch over properties.
    • Finally overhead cables and stobie poles will be removed while concurrently new light poles will be installed.

    The undergrounding process in detail:

    1. Civil works along the proposed route include trenching, laying conduits and backfilling. Works also include the installation of high and low voltage switching cubicles along the route as required by the network.
    2. Following the civil works, electrical cables will be pulled through the conduits and connections (termination) occur.
    3. When a substantial section is completed:
      1. Cables will be energised
      2. Services will be changed over
      3. During this work both underground and overhead powerlines are kept working to continue to provide power to properties and street lighting
    4. Work to happen concurrently on stobie poles:
      1. Remove existing overhead cables and stobie poles (either pull out or oxy cut and leave footing and base of pole in ground), and
      2. Install new street light poles.

    How will PLEC works be carried out?

    The main trench will be dug in the middle of the eastbound (downhill) lane of the road. Only where necessary will there be a trench in the footpath, to install junction pits and connect properties.

    It is expected for the majority of PLEC works to be carried out during day time.

    Working hours generally are Monday – Friday 7am – 5pm. Albert Street is a Department for Planning Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) owned road and the contractor is likely to be limited to have traffic management in place between 9am and 4pm.  

    How much distance will the works cover each day?

    Experience with other PLEC projects indicates that the civil works should cover 10- 30m at a time. This will vary depending on the existing (ground and other environmental) conditions and other services located in the area.

    All works will be made safe for traffic and pedestrians during the day.

    How will the footpath be reinstated?

    Where properties are connected via a trench, the contractor will backfill and make the work area safe. Pavements and kerbs could be reinstated progressively as soon as practical.  

    What will happen with noise and dust control?

    A condition of the contract will be to keep dust and noise at a minimum. The contractor will liaise with the community and traders to inform about upcoming works.

    Are there any service outages (power, water, telephone lines, etc.) expected?

    PLEC is only undertaking the undergrounding of powerlines.  Telstra placed their cables underground along Albert Street in November / December 2019 and there are no expected changes to the water supply.  

    The contractor will liaise with the community and traders to arrange for switch over processes to have their premises connected to the new cables. Service outages are usually no longer than a couple of hours (if that) and will also depend on the individual property settings. 

    How will the premises be connected to the new power line? Is rear access to buildings required?

    The PLEC contractor will liaise with owners and occupiers to consider the individual property layout and identify and plan the least intrusive connection. Generally, a conduit will be run through the property and up the outside wall of the building to connect to the existing termination point.

    How much notice will be given before works on a property commence?

    The contractor will generally liaise with the community, traders and property owners a week prior to works occurring in the target area.

    Is there any cost implication for owners or traders?



    What’s the expected impact on business for Albert Street traders?

    The majority of works will occur in the street, not in the footpath area. All effort will be made by contractors to keep interruptions to a minimum for local traffic and pedestrian movements.

    What will happen with on-street parking?

    Trenching will occur mainly on one side of Albert Street and the impacted areas will be closed off for public access. Contractors will implement traffic management to the legal requirements while trying to retain as much parking as possible. At this stage it is not possible to nominate a length of required space for car parking during construction.

    What will happen with footpath access, prams/disabled, access to bus stops?

    All footpath areas affected by trenching will be made safe for access, including access to bus stops. At times, bus stops will need to be relocated to allow construction in their vicinity.


    What is involved with streetscape improvements?

    The Main Street Master Plan for Albert Street was prepared following extensive community engagement and has been endorsed by Adelaide Hills Council. The Master Plan lists a number of objectives and elements for Albert Street.

    As the undergrounding of power lines, stormwater management system and streetscape improvements are more in the medium to long term bracket, a number of ‘Quick Wins’ were established as requested by the community. These include the installations of metal art pieces, wine barrels and a temporary protuberance. A few new bin enclosures were installed during 2019.

    What does the new streetscape include?

    The elements to be installed as part of the streetscape improvements include:

    Gateway markers to welcome visitors;

    • Kerb build-outs at the corners of Victoria St and John Fisher St;
    • Protuberances on Albert Street just west of Victoria St, near the medical centre and at Federation Park;
    • New and more seats;
    • Bicycle racks
    • New street trees

    The long retaining wall in front of the hospital will see an art installation during the first half of 2020

    How will protuberances impact on traffic and car parks?

    The installation of protuberances makes a road environment appear narrower for drivers, thereby reducing traffic speed. The shorter travel distance from one side to the other improves pedestrian safety and walkability of the area. All build-outs are approved by DPTI and have no impact on vehicle movements.

    The kerb build-outs at the corners of Victoria St and John Fisher St will not impact available car parking spaces.

    The protuberance in the middle of Albert Street will require the space of one (1) car park either side. This protuberance and crossing point will ensure safety of people who cross the road especially between the Medical Centre and the Pharmacy.

    What will happen to the vacant block next to the post office?

    This block of land is privately owned and currently for sale. Adelaide Hills Council has no intention to purchase this land.

    What will happen to the existing street trees?

    The existing street trees were not able to grow properly under the power lines. They will be removed as part of the streetscape improvement works and new trees (Flowering Cherry - Prunus serrulata ‘Mount Fuji’) will be planted at the back of the footpath.

    Why undertake the stormwater management works?

    There is currently no stormwater drainage system on Albert Street. Stormwater from the hospital area and north of Murray Street plus stormwater from Albert Street’s eastern side flow mainly on the western side of Albert Street. This can make it difficult for visitors to get in and out of their car parked along the kerb. There is also considerable pooling of stormwater towards the bottom of Albert Street.

    Council’s 2019 Stormwater Master Plan for Gumeracha identified Albert Street as a priority to install a drainage system to manage the above described risk of property flooding and pooling.

    What’s involved with the stormwater works?

    A system of side entry pits (SEPs) and drainage pipes will be installed along Albert Street to capture and guide stormwater towards Kenton Creek.


    How can I stay up to date with the project’s progress?

    There will be irregular updates about the project on Council’s website ( and through other communications channels, such as the Torrens Valley Community Centre and the Gumeracha Main Street Project Group. Updates will also be provided within key locations throughout the Main Street.

    How can I have my say now?

    Adelaide Hills Council and the Gumeracha Main Street Project Group (GMSPG) led a community engagement process between 2016 and 2018. The community provided ideas and comments on the planned Masterplan in October 2018 in a number of public meetings across Gumeracha. This consultation informed the Gumeracha Main Street Master Plan which was endorsed by Adelaide Hills Council in December 2018. This process is closed and the Masterplan will now be implemented.

    Copies of the Community Engagement Outcomes Reports can be viewed via:

    Who can I contact?

    Adelaide Hills Council’s contact is Oliver Pfueller, Coordinator Civil Services, 8408 0400 or

    Once a contractor has been engaged their contact details will be made available for emergency calls during construction.