Media Releases | 15th Apr, 2016

Andrews Government delivers in response to Hazelwood mine fire inquiry

Environment Victoria has today strongly welcomed the Andrews Government’s response to the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry.

The Premier announced a $51 million package in Morwell that will improve health outcomes in the Latrobe Valley, improve monitoring for air pollution and see rapid escalation of existing rehabilitation bonds for the 3 coal mines in the Latrobe Valley.

Environment Victoria CEO Mark Wakeham said today:

“We congratulate the Andrews Government on their response to the Hazelwood mine fire inquiry. Such a sincere and credible response has the potential to make some good of the disastrous Hazelwood mine fire. Air pollution will now be better monitored, health outcomes should improve, and critically there will be much greater funding for, and regulation of, mine site rehabilitation.”

“In requiring mine operators to increase rehabilitation bonds to 100 per cent of the miners own estimates rehabilitation bonds for the 3 mines increases from $41.4 m to $254 m. This reduces the risk to Victorian taxpayers and the environment.”

“Importantly the State Government will conduct a further review of rehabilitation bonds and develop a regional plan for rehabilitation. Both should see rehabilitation standards and bonds rise again in the near future.”

“Environment Victoria was a party to the both the 2014 and 2015 Hazelwood mine fire inquiries. With our legal team we highlighted that a lack of progressive rehabilitation was a contributing factor to this terrible pollution event, and the complete inadequacy of current rehabilitation plans and bonds.”

We are extremely pleased to see the Andrews Government take action in these areas and congratulate the Premier, Minister D’Ambrosio and other members of the Government.”

“We now look forward to working with the Latrobe Valley community and the Andrews Government to develop a clear transition plan for the Latrobe Valley to diversify its economy and plan for the necessary and inevitable closure of the region’s oldest and dirtiest coal burning power stations and mines.”

For interview and further comment:

Mark Wakeham, Environment Victoria CEO, 0439 700 501, [email protected]

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