Member for Morwell Russell Northe today joined with Boolarra South residents, Tony and Linda Minter in calling upon the State Labor Government to include Latrobe City Council in the Governments Powerline Replacement Fund (PRF).
Mr Northe said the Powerline Replacement Fund provides financial support to property owners to assist with the replacement of dangerous private overhead powerlines with either insulated overhead, underground powerlines or new conductor technologies.
“Despite a number of Gippsland municipalities being eligible under the program, Latrobe City is not,” Mr Northe said.
“This is extremely concerning given our region has encountered a number of significant bushfire events in many of our rural communities within Latrobe City over the past decade.”
Mr Northe said that Latrobe City is recognised as a high bushfire risk area by the responsible authorities; however the municipality is not recognised under the PRF.
“In April this year the Minister announced that the program eligibility was being extended to other regions including Ararat, Baw Baw, Southern Grampians, Wangaratta and Wodonga but not Latrobe City,” Mr Northe said.
“My understanding is that there are only approximately 15 land owners in Latrobe City that would be eligible for this program if Latrobe City was included, and therefore the cost to Government would be minimal.
“I have written to the Minister for Energy seeking the inclusion of Latrobe City into the PRF and in turn support families like the Minters who are incurring substantial costs in replacing their private overhead power lines.
“I therefore call upon the Andrews Government to ensure that residents in Latrobe City are eligible for funding under this program.”
Media contact: 5133 9088