GDF Suez’s rehabilitation manager today admitted under cross-examination by Environment Victoria barristers at the Hazelwood Inquiry that he didn’t know the status of fire preparedness precautions in un-rehabilitated areas of the mine.
The GDF manager said he “presumed” there was an effective sprinkler system in place.
“Environment Victoria is deeply concerned that GDF Suez had so little regard for the fire preparedness of their mine in the lead up to the disastrous fire earlier this year,” said Dr Nicholas Aberle, Environment Victoria Safe Climate Campaign Manager.
“To hear the manager say that he had “no idea” if the $15m rehabilitation bond was enough to cover the full rehabilitation liability, despite expert suggestions that the costs of rehabilitation to an appropriate standard would be significantly higher, shows they’re not really paying much attention to what it’s going to take to clean up the site.
“We’ve heard today at the inquiry that this kind of rehabilitation is the most effective way of preventing future disasters of this kind.
“GDF Suez and the Victorian Government don’t even have the same interpretation of the date by which rehabilitation projects are supposed to be completed.
“Environment Victoria calls on the government immediately increase the rehabilitation bond to an amount that fully covers the liability and creates an appropriate incentive to complete rehabilitation as soon as possible to help protect the Morwell community.”
Dr Aberle is available for comment. Please contact Holly Crocket 0413 343 329