Funds for air quality monitoring

Air quality monitoring in the Latrobe Valley will continue with a $1.35 million commitment from the State Government.

Member for Eastern Victoria Region Harriet Shing announced on Friday the funding would support an additional 12 months of expanded air quality monitoring.

Four extra monitoring stations, such as those deployed in the Valley during the Hazelwood mine fire, will operate across the region.

Two of the extra stations, currently located at Moe and Churchill, will operate in addition to the permanent station in Traralgon

Environment Protection Authority chief executive Nial Fiengan said after the mine fire, the EPA launched an intensive 12-month air, water and soil quality monitoring program in the Valley.

Mr Finegan said results collected in that time showed air quality in the Hazelwood area had been good, with the exception of a few days due to wood fires and some days of planned or localised burning.

The EPA held a consultation session with Valley community members last week to comment on the program and its final report.

Voices of the Valley president Wendy Farmer said the announcement proved the government was listening to the Latrobe Valley.

Mrs Farmer said ongoing air quality monitoring was the second biggest request the activist group had made after calling on government to address health concerns from the mine fire at a community forum six months ago.

“We need to make sure we can access air quality monitor readings and the community has a right to have that information so they can read it themselves,” she said.