Media reports indicate that Victorian government has now accepted the need for an inquiry into the Hazelwood mine fire.
While commitment to some form of independent inquiry is welcome, the precise details of the nature of the process and the powers available are critical if Victorian public is to have confidence that a proper investigation will occur and that suitable recommendations will be made to avoid similar incidents occurring again.
The inquiry must:
- Be independent of government
- Have the authority necessary to conduct a full and thorough investigation into the actions of both government agencies and private entities
- Possess the powers necessary to demand documents and call witnesses
- Be public. The inquiry must have scope to hear from the members of the public and its report must be a public report.
The best option for an inquiry that meets these criteria is a judicial inquiry.
Nominating an independent person to conduct an inquiry will not meet the criteria outlined above.
The EDO has prepared a detailed brief on why we are calling for a judicial inquiry.