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Hazelwood Mine fire inquiry - Victorian Government response and actions

Details of the Victorian Government's response to the official Hazelwood Mine Inquiry 2014-16.

A fire burned in the Hazelwood coal mine for 45 days in February and March 2014. It was the largest and longest-burning mine fire to occur in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.

This fire had significant impacts on the Latrobe Valley community.

In 2014 the Victorian Government held the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry from February to September 2014.

The inquiry was reopened in May 2015 with new areas of investigation.

These inquiries triggered many reforms across state and local government, community and industry.

The Government has committed to implementing, in full, all recommendations and affirmations of the 2014 and 2015/16 Inquiry Reports. It has committed over $80 million to do so and improve the lives of the Latrobe Valley community.

Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry: Victorian Government Implementation Plan

This plan was tabled in the Victorian Parliament on 21 June 2016. It is the Government's response to the Inquiry Reports.

It sets out 246 actions to implement, by 2020, all recommendations and affirmations from the 2014 and 2015/16 Inquiry Reports.

Actions completed

187 of 246 actions were complete in November 2017
211 of 246 actions were complete in October 2018

Major achievements

Communications and community engagement

In November 2016, Emergency Management Victoria launched the new VicEmergency app. The VicEmergency app aligns with the recently upgraded VicEmergency website. It provides a central location for community access to timely information and warnings for:

  • fires
  • hazardous materials incidents
  • storms
  • floods
  • heat health warnings
  • earthquakes
  • tsunamis
  • power outages
  • coastal warnings incidents
  • traffic hazards
  • shark sightings

Health in the Latrobe Valley

The Department of Health and Human Services has been establishing the foundations for improving health in the Latrobe Valley, including:

  • October 2016: Latrobe Health Assembly established after extensive community consultation
  • 2017-2018: health priorities for Aboriginal health and wellbeing implemented. These included funding for a trial to focus on the first 1000 days of an Aboriginal child’s life.

Incident air quality and wellbeing

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has been working on:

  • rapid air quality monitoring capacity for Victoria
  • community co-design of a new air monitoring network (including a smoke sensor sub-network)
  • developing a fully functional integrated air quality monitoring and information system
  • improving data collection and display and communication

Latrobe Valley coal mine rehabilitation bonds

The Victorian Government announced new security bonds for the three local mine operators:

  • ENGIE Hazelwood: $289 million
  • AGL Loy Yang: $154 million
  • EnergyAustralia Yallourn: $148 million

The Government can draw on the money if any of the mine operators don't fulfil their rehabilitation obligations.

Latrobe Valley coal mine regulation

Expected after legislative changes in 2019:

  • a review of the regulatory framework for coal mines
  • implementing the reforms will commence

Monitoring

Since 1 February 2016 the progress of the Implementation Plan has been independently monitored by the Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM).

Between October 2014 and January 2016, monitoring was undertaken jointly by the IGEM and the former Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry Implementation Monitor.

Download implementation plan and reports

Contacts

Departments and agencies across government are working together with the community to progress the implementation plan.

Implementation Plan or the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry

Email: lvrrs@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Latrobe Valley Health Zone

Email: latrobehealthzone@dhhs.vic.gov.au

Department of Health and Human Services' Health Strategies website

Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy

Email: lvrrs@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Air quality monitoring in the Latrobe Valley

Email: contact@epa.vic.gov.au

Phone: 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC)

http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/our-work/monitoring-the-environment/epa-airwatch

Emergency Management Victoria State Smoke Framework

http://files.portal.em.vic.gov.au/refdocs/EMK-01.19-EMV-StateSmokeFramework.pdf

Reform of the State's mining regulator

http://earthresources.vic.gov.au/earth-resources-regulation

Inspector-General for Emergency Management

https://www.igem.vic.gov.au/

Reviewed 10 May 2019

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