St Patrick’s Day fire at Terang, opportunity to provide Victim Impact Statements
3 December, 2021
In November of this year, the Warrnambool Magistrates Court accepted a guilty plea from electricity distributor Powercor which admitted to failing to operate its network to minimise bushfire danger in relation to a fire in Terang in 2018.
Energy Safe Victoria laid charges against Powercor under section 98 of the Electricity Safety Act after the St Patrick’s Day fires at Terang and Garvoc for failing to comply with its general duty and exposing individuals to hazards and risks including bushfire risk. This case was the first of its kind under the Electricity Safety Act.
The Court has adjourned the case to 13 December 2021 for a decision on the penalty it will impose.
The Terang fire occurred on 17th March 2018, St Patrick’s Day.
The cause of the fire was the clashing of high voltage conductors at near the tee of a pole on the south side of High Street in Terang. The incident happened around 8.45pm.
The clashing of the conductors caused molten conductor material to fall from the 22 kV electrical conductors onto dry grass in a paddock on the south side of High Street igniting a grass fire.
Members of the community who were affected by this crime are able to tell the court about how the crime has affected them by completing a Victim Impact Statement.
Victim Impact Statements are one of the things a Court takes into account when it decides what penalty to impose on the offender(s).
A Victim Impact Statement can help a Court understand how this offence has affected you. It gives you a chance to express about how you feel, and what has happened to you because of the crime.
These statements are about explaining how the offence has affected you either physically, emotionally, financially or socially.
You may additionally wish to read your Victim Impact Statement aloud or have the Prosecutor read it aloud. Whether your Victim Impact Statement is read aloud or not, it will be given the same weight and treated in the same way by the Court.
If you have been affected by this crime and wish to complete a Victim Impact Statement, then further information and the relevant forms are available from Victims of Crime Victoria here.
We request that any Victim Impact Statements be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on 9 December 2021.
Media contact: Jonathan Granger 0400948 934 | email@example.com