About the Review

It has been more than a decade since the current safety framework has been in place and it is timely to review the existing arrangements to ensure they adequately reflect the needs of the community in an increasingly complex environment.

The review will examine the safety framework applicable to the electricity network in Victoria and assess its effectiveness in achieving desired electricity network safety outcomes. It will review the design and adequacy of the of the safety regulatory obligations, incentives and other arrangements governing  the safety of Victoria's electricity network.

The review will include extensive consultation with industry and the community to inform the development of a final report and recommendations.

Terms of Reference

The review is intended to examine the safety framework applicable to the electricity network in Victoria.

The review will consider:

  • The objectives of the safety framework in Victoria and an assessment of its effectiveness in achieving electricity network safety outcomes.
  • The design and adequacy of the safety regulatory obligations (including safety cases and the Electricity Safety Management Scheme), incentives and other arrangements governing energy network businesses and any opportunities for improvement.
  • The extent to which the regulatory framework governing network safety ensures effective risk management by energy network businesses.
  • The effectiveness of the regulator and governance arrangements in place to monitor and enforce compliance with safety obligations by energy network businesses.
  • Any other matters that the Chair considers relevant.

In undertaking the review, the Chair will have regard to:

  • Best practice electricity safety and risk management frameworks in other jurisdictions, including nationally and internationally.
  • The relationship between the safety regime and the economic regulatory regime to ensure a balance between safety objectives and economic impacts including the cost impost on consumers.

Process

The review will be conducted by an independent chair supported by a dedicated secretariat. The Chair may seek expert advice.

The review should be informed by extensive consultation with all relevant stakeholders. This will include public consultation.

Outcomes

The Chair will produce an interim report and a final report and recommendations to be presented to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change by December 2017. Unless specifically excluded, the interim and final report and recommendations will be made publicly available.

The Chair

Dr Grimes, has held positions as Secretary for the Australian Government's Department of Agriculture and the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Dr Grimes was previously Associate Secretary in the Australian Government Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Deputy Secretary in the Department of Finance and Deregulation. He has also held senior roles in the South Australian and ACT governments. Dr Grimes will be supported by a dedicated secretariat established from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.