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Powerlines and electricity infrastructure caused many of the major Black Saturday bushfires in 2009 and earlier major bushfires.

The Powerline Bushfire Safety Program works are delivering safeguards to reduce the risk of powerlines causing catastrophic bushfires.

f-factor Incentive Scheme

This regulatory instrument is under the National Electricity (Victoria) Act 2005.

It was one of several measures in response to the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. It incentivises electricity network operators to improve operations following a powerline ignition.

The original scheme provided electricity distributors with a flat incentive for each ignition.

In 2016, the f-factor Scheme was enhanced. It applied a more targeted risk incentive to achieve improvements where powerline ignitions pose the greatest risk.

The strengthened f-factor Scheme applies more stringent performance benchmarks and reporting obligations. This ensures efficient investment in network assets to reduce risk to the community.

Local Infrastructure Assistance Fund

The fund allocated $40 million for backup diesel generators in residential care facilities across peri-urban, regional and rural Victoria.

Eligible residential care facilities include:

  • aged care
  • supported residential services
  • disability
  • mental health
  • drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities.

This has helped to minimise the impact of power outages arising from temporary changes made to the electricity network on days of high fire risk. This is particularly important for care facilities where residents rely critically on power for their health and wellbeing.

The funding covered the costs of purchasing and installing a backup diesel generator. The local Infrastructure Assistance fund:

  • provided backup generators in 343 facilities
  • protected 15,937 vulnerable Victorians who reside in the facilities.

Resources

Royal Commission

These resources informed the establishment of the Powerline Bushfire Safety Program:

Regulations

These documents include details of legislative and regulatory reforms introduced in Victoria. The reforms establish higher safety standards. They also support industry and regulatory practice improvements in community safety.

Page last updated: 16/09/22