Open Letter to the Acting Premier James Merlino

PLANS FOR LV MINES NOT GOOD ENOUGH….YET!

THERE MUST BE NO RISK THAT ABANDONED OPEN CUT MINES DETERIORATE INTO GIGANTIC WASTELANDS OR USE WATER REQUIRED FOR OTHER ESSENTIAL USES

The Past:

After nearly 100 years of open cut mining of brown coal, Victoria has gained approximately $200 billion dollars worth of economic benefit from the electricity generated from brown coal.

The Present:

The gigantic voids created by mining have a total area of approximately 50 sq kms, equivalent to the area of Sydney Harbour.

The Future?

What is to happen to these massive excavations for the hundreds of years which will follow the progressive closure of these mines?  Will Victoria become a global leader or a global laggard in mine repurposing?

Government Commitments:

So far, the Government has made no commitment to guarantee that the former mines do not deteriorate into wastelands.  There is an urgent need for the Government to commit to guarantee that all mines will be repurposed to be “economically useful” and “visually attractive” in addition to its important, but limited, existing commitments to ensuring that they are “safe”, “stable” and “sustainable”.

Water Limits:

Recent Government studies have confirmed that there is no possibility that sufficient water would be available to fully fill these mine voids without major adverse effects on the environment and major restrictions on the availability of water for agriculture, urban and industrial uses.

Present Plans:

All mine operators, and the recently appointed Chairman of the new Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority, have, for years, presumed, planned and advocated that the only option for mine rehabilitation would be to completely flood the mine voids.

New Plans Required:

New, world-class plans are needed now.  These plans will require careful identification and evaluation of all possible options (not just mine flooding).  Plans for mine repurposing should all be subject to thorough public and independent expert scrutiny through comprehensive Environmental Effects Statement (EES) processes.

The Great Latrobe Park Vision:

That the open cut mines of the Latrobe Valley will be repurposed so that they become key elements of an internationally significant multi purpose environment catering for an exciting and diverse range of sporting, cultural, educational, conservation and recreational activities.

 

21 March 2021   Great Latrobe Park Inc.   President: Nina Burke nina@glp.org.au

 

As headlined in the Latrobe Valley Express, “Opinion”, Page 12, Thursday 15th April, 2021. View article

Acting Premier James Merlino