EnergySafe Magazine Summer 2019, issue 56 - Page 6

Latest news ESV moves closer to becoming a commission By Jonathan Granger, Head of Communications and Marketing Continued from page 05. “ESV will play a very important role working closely with other regulators and the government. We now have the capacity and intellectual and technical capability to stay in front of the developments, particularly around technology and playing an impactful role in the quality of skills and training.” Life after ESV Mr Fearon is looking forward to spending more time with family, short-term holidays and a return to history research at university. “Another focus will be my work in a charity I have been involved with the Ryder-Cheshire Foundation. The foundation supports the relief of suffering in countries like India, Timor-Leste and Australia and has also set up many homes to accommodate patients and their carers while receiving treatment. “And, of course, I would like to stay in touch with the energy industry that gave me such incredible training, which lead to the opportunity to serve our community as its safety and technical regulator.” Legislation that will change Energy Safe Victoria from a single Director of Energy Safety to a three member commission is now before the Victorian Parliament. The legislation is currently in the form of a Bill. Once it is voted on and accepted by both the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council it becomes an Act, meaning it becomes law. The change will see the governance structure of ESV move from a single- member agency to a new three-person commission, delivering a leadership team with a greater breadth of skills and experience. There will be three commissioners including a chairperson, a deputy chairperson and a separate chief executive officer. The commissioners will be supported by a Technical Advisory Committee, which will include people who represent the gas and electrical industries, employees in those industries and the Victorian community. Although ESV will officially become the Victorian Energy Safety Commission, we will still be known as Energy Safe Victoria. The move to a commission is a result of the independent review of Victoria’s Electricity and Gas Network Safety Framework which was completed in December 2017. It reviewed the design and adequacy of the safety regulatory system governing the safety of Victoria’s electricity and gas networks, including Energy Safe Victoria as the regulator. 06 When the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio announced the review, she said the current safety framework had been in place more than a decade and it was timely to review the existing arrangements to ensure they adequately reflected the needs of the community in an increasingly complex environment. The review was conducted by Dr Paul Grimes former secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture and Head of the Victorian Public Sector Commission. It included extensive consultation with stakeholders to inform its findings and recommendations. The Director of Energy Safety for Victoria, Paul Fearon, welcomed the report when it was released: “It provides a further springboard for ESV to build its capacity and capability to hold energy network businesses accountable for designing, operating and maintaining their infrastructure safely." “The in-principle support for changes to legislation by the government will also ensure Victoria’s regulatory frameworks are fit for purpose to meet emerging energy safety challenges into the future.” Mr Fearon said the review had not made any adverse findings and although it pointed to a number of improvements that could be made, ESV possessed many strengths and had gained a reputation as being Australia’s leading network safety regulator.