ADJOURNMENT DEBATE ON POWER POLES

My adjournment matter tonight is for the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and concerns the appalling state of energy infrastructure across the Western Victoria Region.

On Monday night yet another power pole was set alight in Warrnambool, requiring the immediate assistance of the Warrnambool Fire Brigade. This was the second power pole to ignite in just six weeks. But wait, it gets worse.

On Wednesday morning emergency services were called to two more power pole incidents at Mepunga and Newfield. These incidents left 300 south-west Victorians without power.

Once again energy distribution network Powercor, in its failure to replace power poles beyond their expiration date, has negligently endangered and disadvantaged western Victorian constituents.

It is Powercor’s inaction and incompetency that led to the snapping of a faulty power pole in The Sisters last year, which contributed to the St Patrick’s Day fires that resulted in the loss of 23 houses, 40 000 hectares of land and 10 000 head of livestock. For how much longer must western Victoria patiently wait for the replacement of 550 000 power poles across our region?

At their current rate of replacement by Powercor it would take 259 years to fully replace the network. During this time countless more lives will be put in danger.

The government must hold Powercor to account by forcing them to replace the 550 000 power poles across the western Victoria region, and probably throughout the rest of Victoria as well, to prevent any further damage to property or even human life.

The action I seek from the minister is to demand immediate government action to prevent further power pole disasters occurring in my region.

29 May 2019