Michael O'Brien,
Victoria’s energy
minister
 
Melbourne, Australia --- (METERING.COM) --- January 7, 2010 - Victoria’s AMI rollout is to be reviewed by the new state government, and could even be suspended while the review is under way.

Although no official statement appears to have been issued, local press reports have quoted the new energy minister Michael O'Brien as saying that suspension of the program could not be ruled out and a decision would be made on the basis of advice on the issue.

“(The smart meter project) it's got a lot of problems and a lot of cost blow-outs but so much money has already been spent on it that it’s gonna be very hard to go back to square one and start again,” O’Brien was quoted as saying.

The rollout, which was initiated by the previous Labor Government, has attracted allegations of cost overruns and mismanagement. However, a recent independent economic review of the project found that the benefits would far outweigh the costs.

To date approximately 300,000 smart meters have been deployed by Victoria’s five distributors. The project is set to cost around Au$2 billion (US$2 billion).