Energy Safe Victoria has published its final into the long term sustainability of Powercor’s wooden pole inspection, maintenance and replacement arrangements. The report examined Powercor’s end-to-end asset management of wooden power poles, including inspection, maintenance and replacement. ESV has also published community and our response to the . The report found that Powercor’s asset management practices in place at the time of the 2018 St Patrick’s Day fires were inadequate to deliver long-term safety outcomes. Further, changes made by Powercor in the aftermath of the 2018 fires, which increased the volume of pole replacements and reinforcements, were insufficient to deliver long-term safety outcomes. ESV has concluded that to reduce the long-term risk of power poles failing and the associated threat to community safety, Powercor must implement a series of recommendations. The recommendations include:
- improving inspection practice and rigour
- improving the training of power pole inspectors and clarifying their responsibilities
- better methodology to predict the likelihood of pole failure over time, particularly in high bushfire risk areas
- take cognisance of the consequence of failure when assessing poles for replacement by implementing risk-based asset management
- explore options for technology that will improve the accuracy of pole condition assessments.
Reviewed 14 December 2022