Environmental Justice at the Hazelwood fire inquiry

Smoke on Morwell's Wallace Street during the Hazelwood mine fire

Our lawyer Felicity Millner is representing Environment Victoria at the public hearing into the Hazelwood Mine fire.

February’s Hazelwood mine fire had a major effect on nearby communities, such as the towns of Morwell and Traralgon. Locals were exposed to air pollution that was off the scale, but to begin with, they had difficulty finding out just how bad it was because the EPA monitoring was inadequate. Official advice was conflicting.

We were concerned about why the regulation of the mine did not ensure this fire was prevented. We called for a judicial inquiry into the mine fire.

Our team worked through the night and over the long weekend to get the best representation possible. We have briefed two barristers appearing for the inquiry.    

We’re participating in the Inquiry in relation to the issue of rehabilitation. Some of the issues we are looking into include:

  • Who is responsible for protecting locals from the impacts of mine fire?
  • Does the rehabilitation bond  for the mine operators reflect the real cost of fixing the land once the mining is finished?
  • What are the real costs of rehabilitating a mine site like Hazelwood?

Check out Environment Victoria's great blog summing up Day 2 of the inquiry.

Stay tuned for updates as the Inquiry proceeds.


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