Introduction

An independent review of Victoria’s electricity and gas network safety framework has been completed. It reviewed the design and adequacy of the safety regulatory system governing the safety of Victoria’s electricity and gas networks, including the regulator, Energy Safe Victoria.


About the Review

On 19 January 2017, the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change announced an independent Review of Victoria’s Electricity Network Safety Framework, to be chaired by Dr Paul Grimes. On 5 May 2017, the Minister announced an expansion to the Review's Terms of Reference to include Victoria’s gas network safety framework. The Terms of Reference can be found here.

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

The Review included extensive consultation with stakeholders to inform its findings and recommendations.


Final Report

The Review's Final Report was released by the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change on 1 August 2018.


Government Response

The government supports the Review’s Final Report as outlined in its response.

The government supports in full 21 of the 43 recommendations and has requested Energy Safe Victoria and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to take steps to progress them. These include:

  • Strengthening Energy Safe Victoria’s capability and preparedness to take strong regulatory action
  • Better integration across agencies
  • Promoting workforce engagement
  • Ensuring the framework is able to manage new sources of safety risk in the networks of the future.

The government supports 21 recommendations in principle, and will draw on further consultation and analysis to determine how they are best implemented. These include recommendations to:

  • Modernise Energy Safe Victoria's governance structure from a single-member agency to a three-person commission
  • Revise and consolidate four separate pieces of legislation into a single new energy safety Act, for a more effective and aligned legislative framework across sectors
  • Consider methods to improve gas reliability now and in the future
  • Promote further research and development for bushfire safety
  • Better protect underground assets through regulation and planning processes.

The government does not support one recommendation for the Chair of the recommended Energy Safe Victoria Commission to also serve as the chief executive. Best practice governance models require a separation of these roles to facilitate effective oversight of management and allow clear lines of accountability between the setting of regulatory strategy, regulatory decision making and the day to day management of the entity.


Submissions to the Interim Report

An Interim Report was prepared by the Review and released on 31 October 2017 for public comment, prior to the preparation of the Final Report. Submissions to the Interim Report closed on 27 November 2017.

Published below are the public submissions to the Interim Report. The views and opinions expressed within each submission belong solely to its author and are not endorsed by the Victorian Government or the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change.



Submissions to the Gas Supplementary Issues Paper

Submissions for the Gas Supplementary Issues Paper on the review of Victoria’s gas network safety framework closed on Friday 16 June 2017.

Published below are the public submissions put forward to provide comment on the review of the gas network safety framework. The views and opinions expressed within each submission belong solely to its author and are not endorsed by the Victorian Government or the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change.



Submissions to the Electricity Issues Paper

Submissions for the Issues Paper on the review of Victoria’s electricity network safety framework closed on Friday 28 April 2017.

Published below are the public submissions put forward to provide comment on the review of the electricity network safety framework. The views and opinions expressed within each submission belong solely to its author and are not endorsed by the Victorian Government or the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change.



The Chair

Dr GrimesDr Paul 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 has also worked as an economics lecturer in the Graduate Program in Public Policy at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. He holds PhD and Masters degrees in economics from the ANU, and an honours degree in economics from Flinders University.

Dr Grimes was supported by a dedicated secretariat established from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.