Wyndham City calls for electricity distributors to step up on public safety concerns

By Our Reporter
Photo by Антон Дмитриев on Unsplash

Wyndham City is calling on Victoria’s electricity regulator to implement measures to ensure electricity distributors are delivering faster and more transparent electricity connections, including being held to account on performance and timeframes.

Wyndham City Mayor Cr Josh Gilligan said residents were seeing significant delays to activating power connections, including traffic and pedestrian lights, because the electricity distributors are not required to meet any specific timeframes.

“Electricity distributors are not obligated to meet strict timeframes on power connections, including new traffic lights, meaning residents are left waiting until distributors find the time to do the work. This is simply not good enough,” Cr Gilligan said.

“A well-known example is on Tarneit Road where traffic lights remained unconnected to a power source for months, leaving ratepayers with a bill for temporary traffic lights to ensure lives were not put at risk,” Cr Gilligan said.

“We’re aware of incidents involving vehicle collisions at intersections that were waiting for traffic light activation and these examples are why electricity distributors should be held to account by being forced to meet clear timeframes and be obligated to report their performance publicly.”

Cr Gilligan said Council lodged a submission to the Essential Services Commission—which regulates electricity providers and other essential service—regarding problems with new electricity connections in Wyndham.

“We need to ensure that public safety is a top priority in their decision making and that a clear and responsive complaints process with strict timeframes be implemented. Such complaints should escalate to the regulator when necessary,” Cr Gilligan said.

“Wyndham City is also calling for better education, training, supervision and/or a review of the accreditation system for contractors, after it experienced sub-standard service from accredited contractors. There is no doubt that forcing energy distributors to publicly report their performance and regulate the timeframes to connect electricity will be of massive benefit to our community and reduce the pain we’re experiencing in delays across key projects.”

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