An investigation report recently released by Energy Safe Victoria in relation to the cause of the 17 March 2018 Terang fire will strengthen the claims for compensation being advanced by over 100 people impacted by the fire.
Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) investigated the cause and circumstances of the Terang fire and concluded that the fire was likely to have been ignited as a result of clashing and arcing between conductors at a power pole near the Terang Power Substation. ESV also concluded that the clearance space between high voltage conductors failed to meet Australian Standards as well as Powercor’s own internal standards.
Ms Kathryn Emeny, Maddens Lawyers’ Class Action Principal, said that the findings demonstrated the startling inadequacy of Powercor’s asset management systems.
“Not only did the conductor clearances fall short of the relevant standards at the time of the fire, ESV’s review also found that the repairs completed by Powercor post fire failed to meet the relevant standards.
“It is important that the communities impacted by the St Patrick’s Day bushfires stand united in their calls for compensation and improvements to the safety of electrical assets within the South West region. It is our experience that in these situations, there is real strength in numbers,” Ms Emeny said.
Over 100 people have registered with Maddens to participate in a Supreme Court class action against Powercor Australia Ltd as a result of the Terang bushfire. The firm has also commenced class action proceedings in respect of the Garvoc and Camperdown/Gnotuk bushfires which occurred on the same day.
“We understand that people impacted by the fires want efficient compensation. It is also important to achieve adequate compensation and to ensure that claims are advanced for the full extent of the loss and damage that has been incurred.
“We often find that many people aren’t aware of all of the different types of loss they can legally claim for such as their own time for repair and clean up works,” Ms Emeny said.
A community meeting hosted by Maddens Lawyers will be convened on 15 June 2018 to provide fire victims with an update on the progress of the class action.
Kathryn Emeny, Principal, Maddens Lawyers: 0439 385 349
Sarah Sheehan, Communications Manager, Maddens Lawyers: 0401 904 570