Hundreds of bare-wire overhead powerlines are moving underground as part of the Victorian Government’s $200million Powerline Replacement Fund.
The fund will see powerlines in the highest risk bushfire areas replaced with insulated overhead, underground powerlines or new conductor technologies.
Minister for Energy and Resources, Lily D’Ambrosio, has announced funding is now available to residents living in Corangamite, Moyne and Southern Grampians shires.
Property owners in these areas with privately owned bare-wire overhead electric lines are encouraged to apply to have the lines on their properties, that connect their property to a roadside power pole, replaced and buried undergrounded.
Ms D’Ambrosio, said, “We’re working hard to protect Victorians from the risk of bushfire by replacing dangerous powerlines in high risk areas – and I encourage residents to make their properties safer by applying for this government assistance.”
“We have already replaced dangerous overhead powerlines in 25 areas across the state and will finish work in another eight high risk areas by the end of the year.”
Funding for the Powerline Replacement Fund (PRF) is being directed in stages to priority areas identified in conjunction with the Fire Services Commissioner, Energy Safe Victoria, the Department and technical experts.
The fund is part of the Government’s $750 million 10-year Powerline Bushfire Safety Program, which was developed in response to the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission to give Victoria the most bushfire safe power network in Australia.
To date, 268 replacement projects have been completed, with more than 62 kilometres of bare-wire private powerlines replaced. Applications are now open with works expected to be finished by summer 2017.