What We Do at
Streets Opening Coordination Council
The NSW Streets Opening Coordinating Council (SOCC) is a voluntary association of member organisations that have agreed to meet together to resolve issues on a cooperative basis, respecting each member's rights and obligations in providing their respective services to the community.
The objectives of the NSW SOCC are to:
foster the safe co-ordination of underground utility works, avoid damage to other underground services, and minimise the impact of those activities on the local natural and built environment;
establish agreed footway allocations and practices for the provision of utility services;
minimise interference to traffic and pedestrian flow caused by road openings for the installation, operation and maintenance of utility services;
encourage the use of agreed codes and practices for the excavation, back filling and re-instatement of roadways and footways.
Membership of the Council is generally open to service utilities, local government and road authorities, light rail operators and relevant government regulatory bodies. Membership may also include consulting and other groups who have an ongoing interest in street services, such as the providers or operators of underground oil or gas pipelines.
In recent years there have been significant changes in the operational environments of both utility/service providers and local councils. Corporatisation and the introduction of competitive tendering, together with community service obligations, have sharpened the focus on achieving cooperative and efficient practices.
Originally formed in 1909 by the Lord Mayor of Sydney as the Sydney Streets Opening Conference, the Conference was an unincorporated group of representatives from organisations with an interest in underground Services, poles and enclosures placed within the boundaries of streets, associated footways and public spaces. The Conference agrees on space allocations for utility Services and sets codes of practice or guidelines relating to these Services.
As a logical result of the widespread use of Conference decisions in many locations outside the Sydney Metropolitan boundaries, the Conference was reconstituted in 1995 to be able to cover the whole State and changed its name to the New South Wales Streets Opening Conference. In 2013 the conference was incorporated as the Streets Opening Coordination Council.