Advice to bosses unclear

The Inquiry’s report found there was a lack of “clear, actionable” information for employers to make sound judgements concerning air quality during the mine fire.

It stated the Victorian WorkCover Authority provided little assistance and suggested it collaborate with the EPA and Department of Health to develop practical advice for employers, reflecting the standards and trigger points for fine particle known as PM2.5.

The Board of Inquiry found while Commercial Road and Sacred Heart schools were relocated “relatively quickly”, it would have been preferable if the schools closed during the first week of the fire.

It said it did not think it was necessary for schools to obtain direction from the Chief Health Officer before making a decision to relocate.