By Elise Kinsella
An inquiry into very last year’s Hazelwood mine hearth, in Victoria’s east, has questioned the State Government’s capacity to control coal mine rehabilitation.
The hearth in the Hazelwood coal mine broke out in February 2014 and burned for forty five times, casting a pall of smoke over the city and forcing some susceptible residents to go away their houses due to the fact of the danger of long-term exposure to smoke.
The initial inquiry into the blaze was reopened to take a look at statements that folks experienced died due to air pollution.
The final stage of 2nd inquiry has centered on rehabilitation of the Latrobe Valley’s a few open lower coal mines, which source significantly of Victoria’s energy.
A letter from 1 of the Government’s primary mine advisors, the Technological Review Board, was revealed to the inquiry board.
Its chair, JM Galvin, wrote to the Assets Department in Oct, warning that aspects of the rehabilitation strategy for the Loy Yang coal mine had been ”too foolish to waste time outlining why”.
He wrote the deficiencies in its strategy would take a long time to address and determined the Government’s failure to set the mine operator, AGL, with overall performance conditions, as a fundamental issue.
He also raised considerations about AGL’s administration of its fire threat.
“The proponent has no intention of lowering the fire gasoline load on the northern batters until the ultimate rehabilitation is carried out at the completion of Stage C mining in about a decade’s time,” he wrote.
Program to fill mine with water ‘would just take eighty five years’
In submissions, AGL stated it prepared to fill the mine pit with drinking water to create a lake as soon as it stopped mining.
But the inquiry was presented with a letter from Southern Rural Drinking water that mentioned the mine could consider far more than 85 years to fill up.
AGL’s lawyer, Juliette Forsyth, mentioned that it could get to a steady amount within fifteen many years.
Counsel assisting the inquiry Peter Rozen later on questioned in depth how the Department of Assets managed to update the Yallourn coal mine’s rehabilitation plan in 2012.
In that strategy, its operator, Vitality Australia, instructed the department it also prepared to develop a lake with its pit as soon as the mine closed.
But it explained problems all around h2o obtain and top quality nonetheless necessary to be tackled and invited the division to speak to it about people problems.
Nevertheless, Luke Wilson from the department advised the inquiry it could not find any further correspondence with the mine operator.
Mr Rozen advised the board if the department experienced unsuccessful to converse, it would be a dereliction of its responsibility.
Before, group witness David Langmore named for the mine’s rehabilitation strategies to be produced public.
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Matters: fires, states-and-territories, morwell-3840, vic