Posted on 04. Oct, 2011 in News

The Baillieu Government must immediately release the long-awaited Powerline Bushfire Safety Taskforce final report, Shadow Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio said today.

Ms D’Ambrosio said the taskforce delivered the final report to the Baillieu Government last Friday.

This was after the interim report leaked in June this year found the costs of fireproofing powerlines would top $20 billion and could see household electricity bills rise as much as $740 every year for the next 10 years.

“Victorians have every right to be worries that the Baillieu Government will not release the final report given its failure to release the interim report,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“The long-awaited final taskforce report will have huge implications for Victorian families and businesses in terms of increased energy costs – and they have a right to know what these costs are and who will end up paying.”

Ms D’Ambrosio said the Premier, Mr Baillieu, and Energy Minister Michael O’Brien needed to consult with the community about the options canvassed in the final taskforce report given the huge price impact.

“The final report was due in August. Then it was delayed until September. Now Mr O’Brien won’t say when he will let  Victorians know how he intends to spend billions of their dollars,” she said.

“Mr O’Brien and Mr Baillieu signed Victorians up to what will be a major cost and he owes it to families already struggling with cost of living pressures to tell them as soon as possible what that cost will be.”

Ms D’Ambrosio said Mr O’Brien had failed to say exactly when he will release the information.

“Mr O’Brien has form when it comes to suppressing information. In April this year, the Taskforce’s interim report was due to be released to the public, but it only saw the light of day after it was leaked to the media,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

The Shadow Minister for Bushfire Response, Jacinta Allan, said fireproofing powerlines was one of the Bushfire Royal Commission’s key recommendations and the Baillieu-Ryan Government had no excuse to delay releasing this important report.

“In Opposition, Peter Ryan said regarding the Bushfire Royal Commission Recommendations that: ‘the whole of these recommendations need to be taken in their totality. I don’t believe you can pick and choose.’ (774 ABC Radio, 1st August 2010), “ Ms Allan said.

“Mr Baillieu and Mr Ryan promised to implement all of  the commission’s 67 recommendations. By hiding this crucial report by the Taskforce the Government is walking away from their promise to bushfire affected communities.”

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