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The Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy

The Victorian Government has commenced preparation of a Regional Rehabilitation Strategy as part of its response to the 2015/16 Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry.1

In Volume IV of its 2015/16 report, the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry noted that in regard to the rehabilitation of the Latrobe Valley's three brown coal mines "the pit lakes and the partial backfill below the water table options are currently the most viable".2

The Board of Inquiry did however conclude that "there are many unresolved issues about how the lake option will be achieved".3

The Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy (LVRRS) will examine and address some of these key knowledge gaps and unresolved issues associated with the pit lake rehabilitation option.

Ultimately, the LVRRS seeks to set a safe, stable and sustainable landform for the Latrobe Valley coal mine voids and surrounding areas.

A total of $12.6 million has been committed to fund the preparation of the Strategy which will be led by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) in partnership with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

The preparation of the Strategy will involve extensive geotechnical, groundwater and surface water studies, the assessment of potential regional impacts on the environment, and the evaluation of future land use options.

It will provide Government and the community with the information required to understand the potential regional impacts of filling (either partially or fully) the mine voids with water to create pit lakes. Completing these investigations will provide a greater understanding of issues regarding ground movement, fire risk, water availability hydrogeological connectivity of the three mines and regional impacts on the environment.

The Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy will be in place by June 2020.

[1] Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry: Victorian Government Implementation Plan June 2016.

[2] Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry Report 2015/16 Volume IV – Mine Rehabilitation (PDF 14.7 MB), pg. 82.

[3] ibid.