Media release: DEA welcomes the Vic Government’s response to the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry

19 April 2016

Doctors for the Environment Australia commends the Victorian Government for their positive response to the latest Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry.

The inquiry recommendations include :

  • Support of a comprehensive health package to improve management of chronic diseases likely to have been worsened by the mine fire
  • Address mental health issues and promote healthy living
  • Establish permanent air quality monitors
  • Financial measures to assist in mine rehabilitation

However DEA is disappointed that the Government has ignored the report’s recommendation to close the mine, and calls on the Government to commit to a time-frame.

Says DEA’s Victorian Chair Dr John Iser, “A ‘use by’ date and comprehensive rehabilitation plan would provide the local community much needed closure, as well as certainty that the fire that devastated their homes and neighbourhoods would not recur.

“It would also close down one of the most inefficient power stations in Australia, leading to reduced air pollution and improved health outcomes.”

The Hazelwood mine fire burned near the town of Morwell, in Victoria’s east, for more than a month.

The Inquiry is the final of four reports of the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry.

The Victorian Government reopened the inquiry last year to investigate community concerns about the health effects of the fire and whether it had increased mortality rates in the area.

Media contact

DEA Victorian Chair Dr John Iser, 0428 599 025

About DEA

DEA is an independent health advocacy organisation of medical doctors raising awareness of the link between health and the environment http://dea.org.au

We are supported by a scientific advisory committee:

Professor Stephen Boyden AM; Professor Peter Doherty AC; Professor Dave Griggs; Professor Michael Kidd AM; Professor David de Kretser AC; Professor Stephen Leeder AO; Professor Ian Lowe AO; Professor Robyn McDermott; Professor Lidia Morawska; Professor Peter Newman AO; Professor Emeritus Sir Gustav Nossal AC; Professor Hugh Possingham; Professor Lawrie Powel AC; Professor Fiona Stanley AC; Dr Rosemary Stanton OAM; Dr Norman Swan.

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