Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy

June 2021 update on implementation of the LVRRS

Since the Strategy’s launch on 26 June 2020, the Victorian Government has undertaken further studies to support mine rehabilitation planning in the Latrobe Valley. As outlined in the LVRRS, we have collaborated with mine licensees and other stakeholders to explore the following issues:

  • potential water sources and access arrangements for mine licensees to undertake rehabilitation, while protecting existing uses and values of the Latrobe River system, under a range of possible climate scenarios
  • climate resilient water sources that could create the certainty that a safe and stable mine rehabilitation can be achieved over the longer-term
  • less water intensive rehabilitation options, and contingency options for water-based rehabilitation plans.

In coming months, the LVRRS project team will consult and communicate on the draft findings of these studies.

The Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy (LVRRS) provides a blueprint to progress mine rehabilitation planning and activities and achieve safe, stable and sustainable landforms that support the next land use.

The Latrobe Valley’s brown coal mines are inherently unstable and fire-prone and require a wide range of active controls to prevent harm to human life and the environment. Failures at these sites over the last two decades (such as slippages and fires) have cost government, industry and the community hundreds of millions of dollars.

With Hazelwood ceasing operations in 2017 and Yallourn and Loy Yang expected to do so in the future, careful consideration and planning for mine rehabilitation needs to be undertaken now to ensure a positive, post-mining legacy for the Latrobe Valley.

Parliament recently passed new legislation that will make rehabilitation for the Latrobe Valley’s coal mines stronger and more transparent, increasing certainty for industry, landowners and local communities.

The Strategy builds on these reforms and provides guidance to the mine licensees, government, the community and other key stakeholders on issues that need to be considered in planning for and undertaking rehabilitation of the Latrobe Valley’s three brown coal mines.

The Strategy recognises that mine rehabilitation is complex, involves different risks, opportunities and trade-offs; regardless of the agreed ultimate solution, it will take decades to deliver. It sets out a collaborative pathway for stakeholders to further explore key issues with a clear view to ensuring the best possible outcomes for the region.

Mine rehabilitation must plan for a drying climate and we will need to consider alternative options that do not rely on water from the Latrobe River system.

To that end, the Strategy sets out actions to address key issues around mine safety and stability, and for the Government to further explore alternate water options, such as recycled water or desalinated water, if a water-based mine rehabilitation approach remains the preferred approach for mine licensees.

The implementation of the Strategy will provide mine licensees with further clarity on the options available for mine rehabilitation. This will include exploring the feasibility of alternative water sources and guidance on how to assess the future water availability from the Latrobe River system. This will inform the preparation of Declared Mine Rehabilitation Plans by mine licensees.

A new Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority will be established from 30 June 2020 to monitor the implementation of the Strategy and provide assurance that government and industry is progressing mine rehabilitation planning.

Community and stakeholders will continue to be engaged, and Traditional Owner involvement supported, during planning for mine rehabilitation.

The LVRRS enables government, industry and community to work together to ensure positive, post-mining outcomes for the Latrobe Valley.

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Page last updated: 30 Jun 2021