Posted on 24. Oct, 2011 in News

The Baillieu Government is refusing to release details of its final Powerlines Bushfire Safety Taskforce report, despite claims their commitment could cost Victorians at least $10 billion and could force power blackouts to large parts of the state.

A media report has revealed the Baillieu Government is considering slugging the community $10 billion for the partial replacement of SWER and 22kV lines in high-risk areas.

Shadow Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio said the cost of Mr Baillieu’s commitment to undertake all the Royal Commission’s recommendations would be exorbitant, but the Government had so far refused to reveal just how much Victorians would be forced to pay.

“Energy Minister Michael O’Brien needs to stop hiding from the issue and finally tell the community what options are being considered and what impact they will have on Victorian families,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“According to this report if Mr O’Brien adopts this recommendation, Victorians would see their power bills rise by as much as 42%.

“We already know undergrounding powerlines will be incredibly expensive, but the community deserves to know just how expensive.

“We also know from the Taskforce interim report which Mr O’Brien tried to hide that replacing all of these lines could cost $20 billion.

“It’s not good enough for Mr O’Brien to hide this report from the community. He needs to speak with families and businesses about the impact this will have on them.

“It’s important Mr O’Brien balances the costs associated with these changes with protecting Victorians from bushfires. But how can Mr O’Brien do this without talking to those who will be most affected?

“It’s time Mr O’Brien released this report, and not made these important decisions alone in his office.”


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