Power pole investment required

February 26, 2019

Member for Polwarth, Richard Riordan MP has asked the Minister for Energy to ensure sufficient regulation and oversight exists to ensure that rural and regional electrical transmission infrastructure meets all necessary safety standards as recommended from the Black Saturday Bushfire Royal Commission.

“There is growing frustration in my Polwarth electorate that there is insufficient oversight and management of Victoria’s aging electrical infrastructure, that will provide both a safer Victoria, but also a more flexible transmission system that will be able to deal with the needs of the growing renewable energy inputs from both private small scale solar, to large industrial windfarms,” Mr Riordan said.

“Despite hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars being spent on some recommendations from the Black Saturday Royal Commission, there are still thousands of kilometres of unprotected, and aged electrical infrastructure. The St Patricks Day bushfires in 2018 again highlighted the devastating consequences of an ageing electrical infrastructure.

“It is estimated that by 2025 investment in asset replacement and new technologies will still not be at levels seen in 2014.

“This decline in real investment in electrical infrastructure in Western Victoria comes at a time when a huge wave of aging pole infrastructure put in post-war comes to the end of its natural life, and at a time when unprecedented investment in new energy generation in windfarms and solar is impacting on the infrastructure.

“This is no way to guarantee reliable and safe energy supply. The minister needs to ensure the people of Polwarth that it has a real energy policy that provides both for people in Melbourne but takes into account the needs of country Victorians,” he said.