Hazelwood Mine Fire: Time for GDF-Suez and government to accept responsibility

It is time for Hazelwood Mine owner GDF Suez and the Victorian government to accept responsibility for the health woes of Latrobe Valley residents.

Expert testimony at the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry today made it clear that the fire had significantly affected the health of Latrobe Valley residents.

“The expert’s findings convey a clear message that the coal mine fire has significantly affected the health of local residents, and probably caused deaths of people in the Latrobe Valley.” said Felicity Millner, Director of Litigation at Environmental Justice Australia.

“It is time for GDF Suez and the government to accept responsibility for these serious and grave outcomes of the coal mine fire and the effect on our community.” said Wendy Farmer, President of community group Voices of the Valley.

“Experts agree that it is likely higher than normal death rates occurred as a result of the fire, along with increased emergency hospital admissions. The people of the Latrobe Valley deserve justice – and that means GDF-Suez and the government taking responsibility for their parts in the fire and its aftermath.”  said Felicity Millner.

“This inquiry has made evident that the Dept of Health were more keen to disagree with VOTV and Adrian Barnett rather than seriously investigate the issue of deaths raised by VOTV, using Barnett’s analysis.” continued Felicity Millner.

“GDF still haven’t said sorry to our community. Instead, they are participating in the inquiry questioning the anonymous view of the experts.” concluded Wendy Farmer.

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