The State Government has given its firmest affirmation yet Latrobe Valley’s future prosperity lies in new coal projects.
The affirmation came as part of a formal response from the multi-party Economic Development and Infrastructure Committee to recommendations from a Victorian mineral exploration and development inquiry last year.
Supporting a proposal to develop a state-wide land use policy “to better manage competing land uses”, namely mining and agriculture, the committee pointed to the finalisation and implementation of Clean Coal Victoria’s strategic plan.
“Clean Coal Victoria will develop a Strategic Plan that sets the framework for the next generation of coal mines that will underpin future economic development in the Latrobe Valley together with supporting infrastructure requirements, new technologies, water use and supply,” the response said.
Environmental activist, Friends of the Earth campaigner Cam Walker, said the presumption new coal projects would “make” the Valley showed an “astonishing level of naivety”.
“This is a backhanded slap to (Latrobe City Council) and local stakeholders who have spent thousands of hours on diversification of the Latrobe Valley – it clearly shows where this government is thinking ideologically, but it is concerning they are gambling so heavily on technologies which are far from proven.”
While the government’s formal response, which covered 25 recommendations, addressed a number of community-based concerns highlighted in the inquiry, the majority of proposals revolved around attracting and streamlining development of the Victorian earth resources sector.
The government’s formal response can be viewed online at www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/committees/edic/greenfields_mineral_exploration/GME_govt_response