Media Releases | 13th Oct, 2014

Prevention better than cure for coal mine fires

13 October 2014

Environment Victoria has today welcomed Labor’s announcement of specialised training for firefighters to address coal mine fires, but accelerated mine rehabilitation should be a priority.

Nicholas Aberle, the Safe Climate Campaign Manager from Environment Victoria said the first priority should be rehabilitating mines and preventing future mine fires.

“Rehabilitating disused parts of the mines would help prevent future catastrophic mine fires, as well as create hundreds of long-term jobs for the local community.”

“The Morwell mine fire was a health disaster for local residents and firefighters who fought the blaze. The Inquiry heard substantial evidence on the ability of mine rehabilitation to prevent fires, but unfortunately made no recommendations to ensure rehabilitation takes place.

“It is important that all parties back policies to rapidly accelerate rehabilitation of the mines,” said
Dr Aberle.