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Electricity distributor Powercor has been fined a substantial $21 million after pleading guilty to failing in their duty to clear vegetation around powerlines. This negligence resulted in a dangerous bushfire in west Melbourne, specifically the Glenmore area near Bacchus Marsh. The Shepparton Magistrates Court sentenced the company for 105 charges related to failing to inspect powerlines and clear vegetation, ultimately causing significant damage and threatening homes.

Despite increased investments in line inspection and tree cutting, Powercor’s failure to address vegetation around powerlines led to the devastating Glenmore bushfire in February 2023. Residents and firefighters faced emotional and physical challenges during the fire, underscoring the importance of responsible infrastructure maintenance by utility companies.

This incident is not the first time Powercor has faced such charges, as previous bushfires caused by infrastructure negligence have led to prosecution. The company was aware of the vegetation hazard near Glenmore for over two years but did not take necessary action promptly, resulting in disastrous consequences.

The court highlighted the severity of the situation, with residents and firefighters recounting the emotional toll and risks faced during the bushfire. While Powercor has been fined a significant amount, there are calls for better enforcement and legislative amendments to ensure such negligence does not occur in the future. The maximum penalty for such offenses remains a topic of discussion, with emphasis on holding companies accountable for maintaining safe powerline infrastructure.


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Article Title: Powercor to pay $2.1-million fine after failing to clear vegetation that led to 2023 Glenmore bushfire
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