Rehab recommendations tabled

The Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry has called for an independent statutory body to coordinate the rehabilitation of Latrobe Valley mines.

A final report examining rehabilitation of the region’s open cut mines was tabled in Parliament this morning and made 19 recommendations, following the reopening of the inquiry last year.

The recommendations include an interim increase of mine rehabilitation bonds to $34 million for Yallourn, $37 million for Hazelwood and $56 million for Loy Yang.

This is an increase from $11.46 million, $15 million and $15 million, respectively.

The board concluded the current rehabilitation bond system was “ineffective” with no transparent reason for not increasing bond levels despite increases to rehabilitation liabilities.

“Without successful rehabilitation, the Latrobe Valley community may be left with worked out mines that pose risks to public and local infrastructure – from fire, land and mine instability, issues with water quality and impacts to the environment,” the report stated.

For full coverage of the report, see Monday’s Express.