Environment Victoria welcomes the report of the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry into health improvement in the Latrobe Valley, noting the many important recommendations that have been made.
Environment Victoria Safe Climate Campaign Manager Dr Nicholas Aberle today said:
“Implementation of the Board’s recommendations will set the Latrobe Valley on a path towards better health and greater community vitality.
“The Board cites EPA data showing that the coal mines and power stations in the Latrobe Valley are responsible for 90 percent of local air pollution.
“The Board has called on the operators of the mines and power stations to ‘lead the way in implementing the best available technology to reduce emissions’. This must be a priority. Tackling the major sources of pollution will go a long way toward improving the overall health of everyone in the Latrobe Valley.”
The Board also found that on health grounds alone, it is vital to start a transition planning process for the Latrobe Valley, to ensure economic activity remains in the area even as coal mining and coal-fired power stations draw to a close.
“The need for a post-coal plan has long been an elephant in the room when discussing the future of the Valley, so it is encouraging that the Board has openly addressed this issue,” said Dr Aberle.
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