Posted on 25. Jan, 2012 in Victoria

The Baillieu Government has failed to notify many Victorians who could be hit with extended power outages under new changes introduced on Monday.

From Monday, 23 January, power distribution companies are now required to disable the auto-reclose function on SWER lines during Code Red and total fire ban days, which may leave businesses and homes without electricity. However on a large number of SWER lines the auto-reclose system will be disabled for six weeks.

While some Victorians have received a letter from Energy Safe Victoria, many others are still waiting for the Government to alert them about how the changes will impact them.   Shadow Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio said people whose homes were connected to the powerline network were angry they hadn’t received any information from the Government about the possibility of disrupted power supply.

“The Baillieu Government’s decision to allow power companies to shut auto-reclose systems on powerlines will impact the power supply to at least 10,000 Victorians during the next six weeks,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“Many people I have spoken to haven’t received any information from the Government.

“Instead of being open and upfront with families on what these changes will mean, the Energy Minister has chosen to drip feed information out to communities.

“Drip feeding information out in the same week these changes are beginning is not good enough.

“Michael O’Brien has mishandled the rollout of these changes and his failure to inform communities will leave many unable to properly prepare their homes and businesses.

In many remote parts of the state, if the power is disrupted during the next six weeks it will remain off until a powerline worker can manually inspect the line. These checks could take several days.

“The Energy Minister has been aware of the possible impact, and which communities will be affected since at least December,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“Contacting those affected should have been straightforward and done long before now.

“Is Mr O’Brien just not up to the job as Energy Minister, or is he choosing to keep this information a secret?”




Comments are closed.