Britnell backs call for update on power line safety improvements

Media Release
07 February 2019

Britnell backs call for update on power line safety improvements

Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell has backed calls for an update on the rollout of power line safety improvements in bushfire prone areas.

It was the former Liberal National Government that adopted all recommendations of the power line Bushfire Safety Taskforce. A $750 million, 10-year program was established involving Victorian government agencies and electricity distribution businesses.

This works program was estimated to reduce the risk of fire starts by up to 64 per cent with a mix of undergrounding and use of new technology to limit the capacity for fire starts.

Leader of the Opposition Michael O’Brien, who was the Minister for Energy at the time, called for an update on the rollout of the program in Parliament on Wednesday.

Mrs Britnell said eight years into the 10 year roll out – the community needed and had a right to know how the work was progressing.

She said it was especially relevant given the large level of community concern in the south-west about the power infrastructure following the St Patrick’s Day Fire.

“People living in fire-prone areas, like the south-west, have a right to feel safe and a right to know their government is doing whatever is required to reduce the risk catastrophic fire events in a timely manner,” she said.

“The Department are required to provide an update to the Government every year on the progress. The Government hasn’t been sharing that information. For the peace of mind of the community, it’s time they were told what has been done, and what still has to be done, to mitigate the risk of fire.”