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Media Release: Powercor charged over alleged powerline safety breaches

After investigating a fire that threatened homes and destroyed property west of Melbourne, Energy Safe Victoria has laid charges against the major electricity distribution company, Powercor Australia Ltd.

Monday 29 January 2024 at 2:43 am

Powercor is facing allegations relating to a failure to clear trees below its powerlines.

A total of eight charges were laid by the state’s energy safety regulator following an investigation into a blaze that started under powerlines at Glenmore on 17 February 2023.

The fire threatened homes and destroyed sheds, fences and farming equipment while burning across 185 hectares of land.

It is alleged Powercor did not meet its general duty to maintain and operate its network safely to minimise risk to people and property and minimise bushfire danger.

It is further alleged the company failed to comply with its Bushfire Mitigation Plan (BMP) that sets out how it will mitigate the risk of fire arising from the supply network.

In Victoria, each major electricity company is required to prepare a BMP and submit it to Energy Safe for acceptance. Once accepted the BMP must be published on the company’s website.

The Powercor matter is listed for mention at the Bacchus Marsh Magistrates’ Court on 28 February 2024.

Energy Safe. Always.

Media contact: Nicole Butler 0477 572 378 l nicole.butler@energysafe.vic.gov.au