28 November 2014
Reports today of a fire at the open cut Loy Yang coal mine highlight the urgent need for the next Victorian government to speed up mine rehabilitation says Environment Victoria.
“Evidence from the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry confirmed that the only areas of the Hazelwood northern batters that did not catch fire in February were those that had been rehabilitated,” said Dr Nicholas Aberle, Safe Climate Campaign Manager for Environment Victoria.
Rehabilitation involves flattening the steep mine walls and covering exposed coal with earth and vegetation.
“We are thankful that it appears the fire at Loy Yang has been controlled and that there are no reported injuries, but it is a concern that hotspots are flaring up on days that are not particularly hot or windy,” said Dr Aberle.
“The Latrobe Valley community shouldn’t have to worry about catastrophic mine fires every summer.”
“The ongoing risks that open cut coal mines pose to human health and our fragile climate means the next government must require mine operators to urgently bring forward rehabilitation works, and to reassess the adequacy of mine rehabilitation bonds.”
“In addition to reducing fire risk and improving health outcomes, mine rehabilitation would create hundreds of long-term regional jobs.”
Dr Nicholas Aberle
Safe Climate Campaign Manager
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