EPA calls for victim impact statements

Kate Withers

The Environmental Protection Authority is calling on members of the community impacted by the Hazelwood mine fire to submit victim impact statements ahead of this month’s Supreme Court plea hearing.

In July, the Supreme Court jury found each of Hazelwood Pacific Pty Ltd, Australian Power Partners B.V., Hazelwood Churchill Pty Ltd and National Power Australia Investments Ltd guilty of pollution offences.

The plea hearing in relation to these matters is scheduled to be heard on December 19 and 20 by the Supreme Court, sitting at the Latrobe Valley courts in Morwell.

Members of the community who were affected by the mine fire are able to tell the court about how it has affected them by completing a victim impact statement.

Victim impact statements are taken into account by a judge when they decide what penalty to impose on the offender(s).

Victim impact statements can also help a judge understand how members of the community were impacted by the mine fire.

People wishing to lodge a statements are required to describe how it affected or continues to affect them either physically, emotionally, financially or socially.

Additionally, people can choose to read their statement aloud or have a prosecutor read it on their behalf.

If you have been affected by the Hazelwood mine fire and want to lodge a victim impact statement, further information and forms are available at victimsofcrime.vic.gov.au/going-to-court/victim-impact-statements.

Victim impact statements should be emailed to vis@epa.vic.gov.au by Monday, December 9 at 5pm.