The rehabilitation of the Latrobe Valley’s brown coal mines will be steered by experts and locals through the creation of a new authority and a strategy to guide rehabilitation planning and works over the coming decades.
Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes today launched the Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy (LVRRS) and met members of the new Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority in Morwell.
The new body will ensure locals continue to be informed and involved in mine rehabilitation. It will oversee the implementation of the LVRRS and contribute to safe, stable and sustainable rehabilitation solutions.
The new authority will be based at the Latrobe Valley GovHub and be part of the 300-strong workforce residing at the new site when completed later this year. The authority replaces the Latrobe Valley Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner from 30 June.
The Commissioner, Emeritus Professor Rae Mackay, has been appointed chairperson of the authority’s board. Professor Mackay will be supported by experienced board director Ms Christine Trotman, who will serve as deputy chairperson.
Latrobe Valley locals Mr Ian Nethercote and Mr Ian Gibson have also been appointed to the board, as have former members of the Technical Review Board Ms Corinne Unger and governance professional Ms Claire Miller. All positions are three-year appointments.
The LVRRS provides a blueprint to progress planning for rehabilitation of the region’s coal mines, based on learnings from geotechnical and water studies. It sets out actions to address issues around mine safety and stability, providing mine licensees with further clarity on the available rehabilitation options.
Rehabilitation planning must consider a drying climate and alternative options to relying only on water from the Latrobe River system, protecting existing water entitlement rights of existing users including farmers, communities and the environment.
The strategy has been informed by extensive engagement with the community, stakeholders and the Latrobe Valley Mine Rehabilitation Advisory Committee over four years.