Group ready to talk

Voices of the Valley president Wendy Farmer said yesterday she hoped to start negotiations with GDF SUEZ to gain some additional support for the Latrobe Valley community.

Ms Farmer said the group was encouraged by the evidence given by GDF SUEZ asset manager George Graham, who appeared before the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry on Friday, 13 June.

As part of his evidence he tendered an outline of what could be done better in the future, either by the company alone or in conjunction with other authorities and community groups.

It evidence included mention there should be greater community engagement on behalf of GDF SUEZ.

Ms Farmer said key issues yet to be addressed included a health audit of the illnesses suffered by people of the Latrobe Valley in relation to the smoke and pollution associated with the mine fire, and assistance with decontamination of buildings, especially dwellings.

Ms Farmer said she hoped Voices of the Valley would meet with GDF SUEZ soon to assist in engaging with the community.