The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien says he’s extremely disappointed that South Gippsland Shire has been overlooked in the state government’s latest energy resilience plan.
Mr O’Brien said the Andrews Labor Government has announced a $7.5 million program that will fund energy resilient facilities in 24 towns across the state, however none of them are in the South Gippsland Shire.
Mr O’Brien said in the wake of the severe storms in June and October last year, there were significant outages of power and telecommunications in South Gippsland Shire that should be recognised by the Government.
“I’m very disappointed that South Gippsland has been overlooked in favour of a number of other shires mostly in the metropolitan and central Victoria areas.
“While Wellington Shire has been named, it is incredible that South Gippsland Shire has not even been listed by the state government given the impacts we saw here last year.
“Some people in places like Mt Best, Turtons Creek and other parts of the Strzelecki Ranges were without power for as much as two weeks and went through significant difficulty.
“I’ve actually been campaigning with the Government for some time to improve the resilience of the energy system in Gippsland and it seems this has largely fallen on deaf ears.”
The state government program will provide funding for solar panels and batteries for community facilities to ensure that people can get access to a hot meal, charging points for devices and a shower in the event of natural disasters that cut the power off in certain communities.
“This is exactly what happened in South Gippsland and it’s very disappointing that the Government has not acknowledged the difficulties faced by our local residents particularly in the Strzelecki Ranges area last year.
“I call on the Government to add South Gippsland to the list of councils receiving funding and ensure those in most need actually get the support they deserve.”