Fresh Black Saturday legal action launched

Fresh legal action has been launched against Victorian energy provider Ausnet over the Black Saturday bushfires.

VicForests is seeking unspecified damages from Ausnet, and also maintenance company Utility Asset Management (UAM), over a timber yard that was razed in the devastating 2009 bushfires.

Documents lodged with the Victorian Supreme Court on Wednesday claim Ausnet, and UAM, failed in their duty to properly maintain their poles and wires.

The VicForests-owned Anderson log storage facility, near Marysville, was destroyed by the Murrindindi bushfire on February 7, 2009.

“The Murrindindi bushfire was ignited when a conductor … failed, fell to the ground and draped across a fence, causing arcing and the discharge of heat and sparks into dry vegetation,” the writ states.

The legal action comes less than a month after Ausnet – as well as Utility Services Corporation Limited and the Department of Sustainability and Environment – reached a record $500 million settlement to compensate home owners affected by the bushfires.

Ausnet has 10 days to formally respond.

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