The Electricity Supply (Safety and Network Management) Regulation 2014 requires network operators to have a safety management system in place which ensures that the design, construction, commissioning, operation and decommissioning of its network is safe. The safety management system must comply with AS5577* or with any other code or standard that the Secretary may nominate.

The primary objective of safety management systems is to assist network operators to comply with the Regulation, in particular to support:

  • the safety of members of the public,
  • the safety of persons working on networks,
  • the protection of property (whether or not belonging to a network operator),
  • the management of safety risks arising from the protection of the environment (for example, preventing bush fires that may be ignited by network assets), and
  • the management of safety risks arising from loss of electricity supply.

Licence conditions covering network reliability imposed on distribution network service providers by the Minister for Resources and Energy are published on the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) website.

TransGrid, as a transmission network service provider, has been notified to take into account the Transmission Network Design and Reliability Standard for NSW (125kb PDF) in preparation of its safety management system.


A network operator must ensure that audits of its safety management system are carried out, in accordance with the Regulation, by a nominated auditor for the system, and a written report of the results of each audit, prepared by the nominated auditor, is provided to the Secretary as soon as practicable after the audit is carried out.

*For the purposes of this Regulation, AS5577 means Australian Standard 5577-2013: Electricity network safety management systems (as in force from time to time).