Energy network safety has long been a concern for the Victorian community and a high priority for successive Victorian governments.
The Longford gas explosion in 1998, while occurring in a production facility outside the transmission and distribution network itself, highlighted the impacts of a major accident disrupting gas supply to the state, and emphasised the dangers that workers in the gas industry face.
The Black Saturday bushfires in February 2009 brought electricity network safety concerns to the fore, particularly as most of the 173 lives lost that day were ultimately linked with fires initially sparked by faults in electricity lines running through tinder-dry bushland.
Both the Longford and Black Saturday incidents were examined by Royal Commissions, and the recommendations from those Royal Commissions have influenced the development of safety frameworks for Major Hazard Facilities and energy networks in Victoria.
This Review examines the safety frameworks applying to electricity and gas networks in Victoria administered by the safety regulator, Energy Safe Victoria (ESV).
While the safety regime applying to Major Hazard Facilities is outside the scope of the Review, there are some close connections in the way safety regulation in the two areas has developed in Victoria over the past two decades, particularly with the adoption of so-called “safety case” systems of regulation.
The Review was commissioned by the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change in January 2017, and was required to present its Final Report by the end of 2017.
This Final Report presents the Review's findings and recommendations. In developing the Final Report, the Review considered submissions provided by interested groups on the Interim Report, released on 31 October 2017. The Review team wishes to thank all stakeholders who contributed to the Review.