Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (11:42:45) — My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, but I think this could also be relevant to the Minister for Health. The action I am seeking is in relation to Victoria’s ‘do not disconnect’ register. In the heatwave of 2009, 361 mainly elderly residents died of heat stress during blackouts and brownouts. Fortunately since that year we have had fewer hot spells and good electricity supply, but that could change this summer, with speculation around what will happen with the closure of Hazelwood.
Nowadays we have smart meters. One of the benefits of these smart meters in Victoria is that they can isolate homes from brownouts and blackouts on a ‘do not disconnect’ register. This register currently exists for this purpose. The register is mainly used for people with life support equipment. Under section 5.6 of the electrical distribution code a distributor with confirmation that a person residing at a customer’s supply address requires life support equipment must not disconnect that service.
I would suggest that we extend the ‘do not disconnect’ register to elderly residents who, for example, are registered for home care. This would prevent the devastating consequences of 2009 from recurring. I am asking the minister to extend the ‘do not disconnect’ register to elderly people who are registered for home care and in doing so save the lives of many Victorians.