|The Andrews Labor Government is improving energy safety for all Victorians and delivering on a key election commitment with electrical line workers to be protected by a new licensing scheme.
The Victorian Parliament has passed the Energy Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2019, which will establish the scheme and mandate minimum qualifications for these workers for the first time in the state’s history.
The scheme requires electrical line workers, who operate in some of the most dangerous workplaces in the state, to keep up to date with the latest safety requirements, as well as technological and industry changes.
From 1 January next year, all registered electrical line workers must be licensed to work on the transmission, distribution and traction networks in Victoria – bringing them in line with workers in Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
The Victorian Budget 2019/20 allocated $2.5 million to establish the licensing system for workers who currently register only once and aren’t required to maintain their skills, knowledge and experience.
The Bill is part of the Labor Government’s reforms to strengthen Energy Safety Victoria (ESV) and give the regulator stronger oversight of the networks’ workforce.
The reforms include the establishment of the three-person ESV Commission, recommended by the extensive Grimes Review.
The change will see the governance structure of ESV move from a single-member agency to the new Commission, delivering a leadership team with a greater breadth of skills and experience.
The Commission will be supported by a Technical Advisory Committee to ensure the Commission has the best expertise available to guide its decision making.
ESV has been given more resources and a mandate to put community safety at the forefront and hold duty holders to account, which is vital as the industry transforms.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio
“We’re delivering on our election promise to put the safety of electrical line workers, and all Victorians, first.”
“As the energy sector transforms, it’s vital we have a modern, fit-for-purpose regulator to hold those who do the wrong thing to account.”