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Bushfire power lines ‘not up to standard’

June 7, 2018

An energy regulator’s report on the Terang bushfire in Victoria has concluded powerlines owned by utility company Powercor did not meet Australian “clearance standards”.

Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) says the lines also fell short of the company’s own clearance requirements.

The Terang blaze was one of four in Victoria’s south-west in March, known collectively as the St Patrick’s Day fires.

The fire was most likely caused during high winds by “molten material falling from clashing and arcing conductors” near a pole on Powercor’s distribution network, ESV says.

“The construction of the lines was not consistent with standards and did not allow sufficient clearance between electrical circuits during the wind event of that day.

“ESV will now proceed with its investigation… to determine the nature and extent of any breaches to the acts and regulations, and possible enforcement action.”

Powercor has not responded to an insuranceNEWS.com.au request for comment.

Maddens Lawyers filed a class action in April against the utility company on behalf of Terang residents who suffered losses of more than $40 million.

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