More penalties to ensure safety
Legislation passed in Victorian Parliament last week will improve Victoria’s powerline safety standards and better protect Victorians from bushfires caused by powerline faults.
The Electricity Safety Amendment (Bushfire Mitigation Civil Penalties Scheme) Bill 2017 was passed in the Upper House and includes strong civil penalties compliance measures which will ensure powerline bushfire safety standards are met.
A recommendation from the Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission, it will make changes to the Electricity Safety Act 1998 to ensure that distribution businesses deliver enhanced network safety technologies on time, and to appropriate standards, or face tough financial penalties.
Two of the most devastating 2009 Black Saturday bushfires were caused by electricity assets — these two fires alone resulted in the loss of 159 lives, 2000 homes and property worth more than $4.4 billion.
Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the Government has learned from the tragic events of Black Saturday.
‘‘That’s why we are improving powerline safety measures and introducing sanctions for companies that don’t comply.
‘‘This legislation puts the safety of regional and rural Victorians front and centre — reducing the risk of bushfires from power lines and helping to secure our energy supply.’’
Safety first: The government has learned from the tragic events of Black Saturday.