Newly-installed Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu intends to tackle the state’s troubled smart meter roll-out, vowing to implement recommendations put forward by an auditor-general’s report from November 2009.
Victoria’s smart meter deployment started in 2009 and planned to replace 2.5 million electricity meters around the state in total, with the Brumby Government promising 680,000 smart meters to consumers by 2013.
An initial report into the project said that it would lead to savings totalling $5 billion.
However, the plan came under fire after the Victorian auditor-general handed down a report slamming the project’s lack of governance and shoddy trial process. The report also said there was limited value for Victorians in the project and pulled apart the original cost-benefit analysis, labelling many of its conclusions as false.
“The [project] has not used the checks and balances that would ordinarily apply to a major investment directly funded by the state,” the attorney-general’s report said.
The newly-elected Coalition now plans to implement all recommendations prescribed in the auditor-general’s report, which includes developing a stakeholder engagement plan, re-assessing the project’s value to Victorians, updating the cost-benefit analysis of the project to include changes in the project scope and adopting the risk model of the Department of Treasury and Finance.
In a statement from Premier Baillieu’s office yesterday, ZDNet Australia was told that the Coalition Government also intends to establish a special committee to ensure that collected customer information is kept safe. It will also release documents which had previously been withheld.
“A coalition government will … release smart meter documents that the Brumby Government has kept hidden, despite the Legislative Council ordering their production,” the premier said in the statement.