Mine fire meeting

The public will tomorrow get the opportunity to hear from the man tasked with ensuring the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry recommendations are implemented.

Neil Comrie AO will visit the Latrobe Valley to meet with Latrobe City Council, followed by a community meeting tomorrow night to explain his role.

He will meet with GDF SUEZ on Wednesday.

Speaking to The Express on Friday, Mr Comrie said his role would be “quite detailed”, extending beyond the 18 recommendations to the State Government and GDF SUEZ, to the further 58 commitments they have made.

“If you break that down to the action items that are necessary, we’re probably going to finish up with an estimated 100 actions that agencies and GDF SUEZ will need to meet,” Mr Comrie said.

“We’ll sit down with the responsible agency, analyse what they say they’re going to do, determine a date and ask them to provide evidence to us that they’ve actually done it.”

Mr Comrie has been appointed as independent monitor by the government for the next three years and will provide annual progress reports by 31 October each year, starting next year.

He said he would also monitor the progress of “other activities”, for example the investigation into a potential class action law suit on behalf of the community.

“We’ll monitor the media of those matters. We’re not going to do this in an isolation bubble and if we see the need to explore some of those matters further, we’ll certainly do so.”

He said it was important to emphasise that his role would not be to revisit the Inquiry. Mr Comrie was also implementation monitor for the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.

The community meeting will be held at 6.30pm at the auditorium, 20 Hazelwood Road, Morwell.