A review into the resilience of the state’s energy distribution network has now been completed with outcomes of the review expected to be released to the public later this year.
The Review of Victoria’s Electricity and Gas Network Safety Framework was established in the wake of prolonged power outages across the state last year.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien, who called on the Labor Government to undertake the review after a significant storm in June last year saw many of his constituents without power for over a week, says it is crucial that the recommendations of the report help build resilience in the network.
“Since this review was initiated we have experienced a second significant power outage event following further storms in October last year,” Mr O’Brien said.
“During both storm events my office was inundated with calls for help as local farmers and elderly residents struggled to get by without power with little-to-no communication as to when their power would be restored.
“As we again head into the winter months and brace ourselves for further storm events we need to be able to rely on our electricity distribution network.”
Mr O’Brien said he had not yet seen the outcomes of the review but was hopeful they will be pragmatic and feasible.
“The review was conducted by a panel of experts and included a component of community consultation which involved local councils and targeted community meetings.
“I am told one of these meetings was held in Traralgon with just 11 hand-picked community members from across Gippsland in attendance.
“While I would have preferred to see wider consultation with the effected communities, I remain hopeful that this review will deliver outcomes that can be implemented swiftly to ensure the best results for the whole state.”
Mr O’Brien said the most important thing was to see real-world applications of the outcomes and not just further reviews and studies.
“A reliable energy framework is crucial to the state and a priority for The Nationals.
“It doesn’t take an expert to see that we need better communication and a faster response on the ground.”
Mr O’Brien was speaking after The Nationals carried a motion at their State Conference last weekend (27-28 May) calling for the Victorian Government to take action to ensure Victoria has a regulatory framework that minimises the length and number of outages while balancing the need to keep electricity prices low.
“I will be eagerly awaiting the public release of the review’s outcomes and will continue working to ensure they are implemented without delay.”