The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien is encouraging Gippslanders to tell their stories of blackouts to a review of the state’s electricity distribution network resilience that is now underway.
Mr O’Brien called for a formal review of the electricity distribution network following the large storm events that took place in June and October 2021 which saw many Gippsland South residents without power for days, or even weeks.
“Many Gippslanders suffered weeks without power and mobile service following these events and that’s not good enough in this day and age. While AusNet crews did their best to get people reconnected, the delays for some were unacceptable,” Mr O’Brien said.
“We must do better and I’ve been calling on the Government and our power companies to learn the lessons from these outage events.
“The State Government undertook phase 1 of this review over a two-month period in late 2021 and a report was apparently delivered to the Andrews Labor Government with a number of short-term recommendations.
“But who even knew it was underway? The first I heard of it was when I got an answer to a question on notice in Parliament just before Christmas so I’m sure most of my constituents weren’t consulted.
“The Government has now announced phase 2 will now commence with the appointment of a panel known as the Electricity Distribution Network Resilience Expert Panel.
“This is a positive development, but what I would like to see is those communities in Gippsland South that were severely impacted by these prolonged power outages given the chance to be heard and the lessons learned incorporated into any changes to our electricity distribution system.”
Mr O’Brien said the panel will engage in consultation with a number of stakeholders including energy distributers, community representatives, energy industry experts and representatives from the emergency management sector.
“I am aware of a number of locals who were severely impacted by the prolonged power outages financially, medically or in some other way. It is crucial that those people are given the opportunity to share their stories and shape the outcome of this review.”
Further information around the review can be found at: https://www.energy.vic.gov.au/electricity/electricity-network-framework-review