The Hazelwood Mine Rehabilitation Environmental Effects Statement
Good news! Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne has decided the Hazelwood Mine Rehabilitation Project will undergo an Environmental Effects Statement (EES) process.
This is important because this massive project has the potential to have huge impacts on the environment, including on things like:
- Surface water and groundwater resources, which could affect our water quality and availability
- The Gippsland Lakes, a nearby system of internationally significant wetlands
- Native vegetation and native wildlife that lives in the area, and
- Aboriginal heritage values.
For more than five years, the Latrobe Valley community has called for clarity on the fate of the Hazelwood mine pit which operator Engie plans to flood, turning it into an artificial lake using natural water sources including groundwater.
Turning the mine void into a ‘pit lake’ could take more than two decades, and would require an estimated 638 billion litres of water, or more water than Sydney Harbour! Engie’s proposal would require an extra five billion litres of water each year just to offset evaporation. The Latrobe River system is already under threat. We have serious concerns that taking so much water will harm the entire ecosystem.
As Friends of Latrobe Water say, “Unless rehabilitation works are done right, our community will be left with a huge environmental legacy and pay with additional health impacts and tax burden.”
The public will have opportunities for input in this process. To help you better understand what an EES involves, our lawyers have created a handy guide outlining some of the key stages of the EES process.
The next step is for Engie to provide information relating to the project to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, so the Department and an inter-agency Technical Reference Group can prepare draft scoping requirements.
The public will then have 15 days to make submissions on the draft scoping requirements which will be available from the Engage Victoria website. If you would like to be in the loop for when this happens, sign up for updates below.
The Planning Minister will then consider public submissions and issue the final version of the scoping requirements.
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This is such an important issue and it’ll take all of us standing together to shape a good outcome. We’ll keep you up to date on the process and how you can participate, simply fill out your details in our form below.