Monday, April 15, 2024

Victoria’s transmission line failure to be reviewed by experts after extreme storms

AusNet is the company in charge of maintaining Victoria’s transmission network, and Energy Safe Victoria will also investigate the company’s maintenance record and compliance with safety obligations.

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Announcing the proposal on Monday, Opposition Leader John Pesutto said he was concerned the Allan government had not already announced a “root and branch” review, and said Labor had been “on notice about the fragility of Victoria’s energy system” for some time.

“The government should be doing this on behalf of all Victorian households and businesses. They’re not. So we will,” he said.

The Coalition needs the support of at least eight of the 12 crossbench MPs to get the inquiry up.

On Tuesday, Pesutto accused the government of a backflip after Labor on Monday accused the coalition’s attempt at an upper house inquiry of being a stunt.

“They are now saying there needs to be an inquiry,” Pesutto said.

“I can tell you this: any inquiry that Jacinta Allan proposes will not be a fair dinkum inquiry. It’ll be one guaranteed to protect her and her government from legitimate questions.”

Of the more than 3000 homes still without power, 2500 are expected to have a “long tail” recovery, according to Emergency Services Minister Jaclyn Symes.

“It’s down to house-to-house connections that can take some time,” she said.

Symes said while there were pockets of lingering outages across the state, Mirboo North in Gippsland was the epicentre and authorities were still working to assess the exact number of uninhabitable homes.

She also said there was more wild weather on the horizon.

“We are expecting higher temperatures, more in the Mallee and the northern country. But what we’re alive to and probably what we’re probably most worried about is heavy downpours on Thursday,” she said.

She said authorities would provide more detail by Wednesday if the weather reports coming in “become a concern”.

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