A review of electricity distribution network resilience is underway in the wake of storm-induced outages this year and following calls from The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien.
The review, known as The Distribution Business Network Resilience Review commenced in September 2021 and is being undertaken by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).
Mr O’Brien said he was relieved to see some action being taken to ensure the multiple prolonged power outages that have been experienced across Gippsland this year do not become commonplace events.
“We have experienced two significant storm events in Gippsland this year in June and October and both times thousands of Gippsland residents were left without power for significant periods of time – in some cases over two weeks!
“It was clear to me that a review was needed and I’m hopeful that this review will identify areas where improvements can be made to ensure these prolonged power outages remain few and far between.”
The review has already begun looking at ways to improve support for power dependent customers and better identification and prioritisation of critical infrastructure restoration. Other areas to be assessed as part of the review include more long-term regulatory and infrastructure reforms such as targeted infrastructure improvement and relief to improve community resilience.
Mr O’Brien said the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio had indicated that the review will include broad public consultation with the outcomes of the review to be made publicly available in early 2022.
“I have been told that the communities and local councils impacted by the prolonged power outages will be contacted for consultation to form part of this review and I look forward to seeing that occur.
“I have received numerous calls from concerned residents who don’t feel like their concerns are being heard, let alone met and I remain hopeful that this review will provide a unique opportunity for these people to share their stories.”