Progress report tabled in Parliament

The first progress report on the implementation of recommendations made by the 2014 Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry was tabled in State Parliament yesterday.

The report detailed actions undertaken across government, including by the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation, Emergency Management Victoria, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Environment Protection Agency, and the Victorian Workcover Authority.

The government has taken action to reduce the risk of fires in coal mines by introducing requirements for mine operators to carry out risk assessments.

Mining licences have also been varied to require operators to implement plans to reduce the risk of a mine fire and mitigate the impacts of any fires that do occur.

Rapid air quality monitoring capabilities have been established, as well as a State Smoke Plan to guide the state’s response to fires and other smoke events.

The long-term health study in the Latrobe Valley is underway, and the government has funded new equipment and a new health clinic to provide the community with the care, support and information they need.

The government will continue to work closely with Latrobe Valley community and industry to progress implementation of all of the 2014 inquiry recommendations.

The inquiry will provide additional recommendations to improve the future health and wellbeing in the Latrobe Valley to the Parliament in February, with findings into coal mine rehabilitation to be provided in March 2016.