Hazelwood Mine Fire: Hearings into deaths to commence

On Tuesday September 1, hearings will commence at the re-opened Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry.

“These hearings are of huge importance to the people of the Latrobe Valley. The fact that the Hazelwood Mine Fire inquiry was reopened shows the health effects of coal air pollution are a serious concern of the community.” said Felicity Millner, Director of Litigation at Environmental Justice Australia, who are representing the community group, Voices of the Valley, at the Inquiry.

“At the hearings, experts in air pollution and statistics will give evidence on whether deaths occurred as a result of the coal mine fire. ” Felicity continued.

“Since the terrible events of February 2014, when toxic coal smoke choked the towns of the Latrobe Valley, the local community has fought hard to find the truth about the fire and its impacts.” said Wendy Farmer, President of community group Voices of the Valley.

“We’ve collected evidence and found the experts we needed to interpret it. We’ve told our own stories, even when governments have been reluctant to listen.” Wendy continued.

“At this inquiry, with limited government support, the Latrobe Valley Community identified experts on air quality, health and statistics. The Inquiry has called evidence from these experts and some of them will appear at the Inquiry this week.  said Felicity Millner

“Despite all their tireless work, the community still haven’t got justice. The people of the Latrobe Valley want the truth. They want to understand what happened and why. And they want those responsible to be held accountable for what they have suffered.” Felicity concluded.

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