Marsden Jacob have been assisting the Victorian Government’s Independent Review of Victoria’s Electricity and Gas Network Safety Frameworks.

The purpose of the Review is to assess the effectiveness of the safety frameworks applicable to electricity and gas transmission and distribution networks in Victoria in achieving desired safety outcomes.

Marsden Jacob was engaged to undertake a comprehensive but rapid review of the safety and risk amendment frameworks applicable to gas and electricity networks in five international jurisdictions with similar regulatory or environmental settings to Victoria. We were requested to consider the following when summarising best practice:

  • The effectiveness of the safety framework in achieving energy network safety outcomes.
  • The regulatory obligations, incentives and other arrangements governing energy network businesses.
  • The effectiveness of regulators in monitoring and enforcing compliance.
  • The adaptability of safety frameworks to adjust to the widespread deployment of emerging technologies including renewable energy and battery storage.

The five international jurisdictions reviewed was as follows:

  • New Zealand – similar regulatory structure and market design.
  • England & Wales – similar regulatory structure and legislative approach.
  • Spain – similar climate / environment and risks.
  • United States – California – similar climate/ environment and risks.
  • United States – Texas – similar climate / environment and risks.

The Interim Report of the review is due out in the next few months and the Final Report by the end of the year.

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