Wildfire Risk Management in Victoria

Tuesday, May 19 | 8:00 - 9:00am

Powercor Australia and AusNet Services are the major electricity company’s within two of the highest wildfire risk regions in Australia, and arguably the world. Both networks have a history of significant wildfire events, the most notable being referred to as Black Saturday.

Black Saturday occurred on the 9th February 2009 where 173 lives were lost, the majority of those attributed to powerline initiated fires. 11 years on, much has changed. Phil Bryant, Manager Network Safety for AusNet Services and Dene Ward, Network Safety and Bushfire Mitigation Manager for Powercor Australia will reflect on the key changes and learnings since Black Saturday from a Network Service Providers perspective.

Phil and Dene will discuss:

  • Key drivers that have resulted in a material improvement in network safety performance.
  • The regulatory operating environment will be explored, particularly that of network safety legislation in response to the Black Saturday fires.
  • Finally, a look at the road ahead for continued network risk mitigation within an operating environment of longer summers and more frequent extreme fire danger days will be discussed.

Dene Ward
Network Safety & Bushfire Mitigation Manager, Powercor Australia

Phil Bryant
Manager, Network Safety, AusNet Services

Panel Discussion: Fostering Resilience and Safety Through Collaboration

Tuesday, May 19 | 4:15 - 5:15pm

The wildfire equation is complex, with many moving parts and shared responsibility across many different stakeholders. This panel will convene experts from utilities, regulatory agencies, and community organizations to discuss the importance of effective collaboration in lowering wildfire risk, addressing vulnerable communities, ensuring safety and communication during events, and managing recovery efforts.

Emily Sanford Fisher
General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Edison Electric Institute

Panel Discussion: The Customer Perspective

Wednesday, May 20 | 4:15 - 5:15pm

In order to preemptively address the threat of wildfires, it appears that Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) are here to stay. This panel of customer service and utility experts will explore what utilities can do to address customer satisfaction during PSPS events and lessons learned from previous wildfire seasons.

Todd Cahill
Director of Customer Care, SDG&E

Andrew Heath
Managing Director, Utility Intelligence, J.D. Power