A wave of power pole replacements is set to occur in the region from January, the state's electricity distributor has announced.
Powercor will roll out a program in western Victoria to replace or reinforce close to 7000 power poles per year from January 1.
The energy giant says the program will mark a significant shift in how network safety is proactively managed.
The program involves a 65 per cent increase in the number of poles replaced or reinforced annually and will coordinate with other regional asset maintenance activities over the next five years.
Powercor's head of major projects and maintenance Marcus Olive said the program was part of an updated Bushfire Mitigation Plan currently before Energy Safe Victoria for approval.
"This program is an essential part of building a stronger and safer network," Mr Olive said.
"With climate change, we are likely to experience higher winds, fiercer storms and a greater risk of bushfires. This program will help our network to be more resilient and able to fight the impacts of these extreme weather events on customers."
The Bushfire Mitigation Plan sets out a commitment to replace or reinforce at least 34,650 poles over the next five years.
Of those poles, about 3600 pole replacements or reinforcements are expected in the Warrnambool region and 1300 in the Colac region.
Mr Olive said the extensive program of works would be planned on a region-by-region basis and coordinated with other maintenance activities such as the replacement of pole-top assets like cross-arms, insulators and powerlines.
"By bundling multiple jobs into works packages, we can minimise the impact on customers to get greater network safety and reliability outcomes," he said.
"We will be notifying customers in advance of any works and letting them know if and when power outages are required to allow time for them to be prepared."
The planning for the program is informed by an asset management approach which tailors the inspection and maintenance activities for each of the more than 356,000 wooden power poles, and takes into consideration the type of wood, their age, and prevailing weather conditions at their location.
"By taking a precautionary approach to managing poles we will support safety and reliability objectives and over time, reduce the average age of our assets," Mr Olive said.
It comes after Powercor was last week fined $130,000 over the safety failure that caused the Terang fire, which devoured houses fences and livestock on St Patrick's Day three years ago.
The Garvoc blaze wiped out at least two houses, 4000 hectares and stock.
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