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ADF to help distribute generators to storm-hit Victorians facing three weeks without power

Saturday June 19, 2021 - 13:42 EST
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Victoria has enlisted the help of 120 ADF personnel to deliver generators, clear fallen trees and assist with the recovery. - ABC

The Australian Defence Force is helping deliver 200 generators to some of the 1,500 storm-struck Victorian households expected to remain without power for another three weeks.

In a Saturday morning update, Energy Minister Lily D'Ambrosio said there were around 4,000 Victorians without power, but AusNet expected to reconnect the majority of them by the end of the weekend.

She said the government was distributing small generators to the around 1,500 Victorian households that would likely remain without supply until July 10.

"These generators are large enough to be able to provide about 8 kilowatts of power, which will be sufficient to run a number of lights in a home, a small heater, and enable Victorians to be able to get back [a bit of comfort]," she said.

Ms D'Ambrosio said the generators would come with a starter kit including fuel, a jerry can, and safety instructions that had been developed after consultation with Energy Safe Victoria.

In a statement, the government said community service organisation Windemere would assess the needs of affected communities and prioritise distribution of the generators to those who needed them most.

Ms D'Ambrosio said those who received the generators would still be eligible for the weekly Prolonged Power Outage Payment of $1,680 per household.

Emergency commissioner warns against 'stickybeaks'

Around 120 ADF personnel are on the ground in storm-hit regions, helping to deliver the generators and clear fallen trees.

Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said while roads were open for locals in the worst-hit parts of the state, it was important that people from outside those communities stayed away.

"We don't want you in that area, we don't want you in south-west Gippsland, we don't want you up in the Trentham-Blackwood areas, we don't want those stickybeaks," he said.

"You'll get in the way of our emergency services, our contractors, everyone else who's doing such a great job to open up roads, clear up debris and keep our community safe."


© ABC 2021

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