News

Community forum to focus on mine rehab learnings

A discussion and reflection on what we have learnt about mine rehabilitation planning for the Latrobe Valley’s three brown coal mines will be the focus of the Latrobe Valley Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner’s next public forum to be held on Wednesday 27 November in Morwell.

The recent release of the findings of the Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy (LVRRS) studies have confirmed those of the 2015-16 Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry, that the landform with the safest, most stable and most sustainable outcome for each of the three coal mines is a full pit lake.

The studies also determined that the most viable option for sourcing water for mine rehabilitation is surface water from the Latrobe River system, which is licensed or contracted to the power stations for power generation, and groundwater which is licensed for depressurisation of the mines.

The Commissioner is hosting a discussion focusing on the reflections and perspectives of the three mine operators on their work and the LVRRS studies, as well as looking deeper into the issues of water for rehabilitation and the risks it mitigates.

Community members are invited to attend the Commissioner’s public forum on Wednesday 27 November from 5.30pm at the Italian Australian Club, Princes Highway, Morwell. A light supper will be provided.

RSVP is preferred. Register via Eventbrite here, visit our Facebook event page, call 1800 571 966, or email commissioner@lvmrc.vic.gov.au

Download the media release:

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14 November 2019

Community arts event to focus on mine rehab learningsCoal Hole water fight poster 276x300 - News

A culmination of the learnings shared over the last five months as part of the Coal Hole project will be the focus of its final event, a ‘Coal Hole Town 1,000 Billion Litre Water Fight’ on Sunday 1 December from 2-3pm at the Kernot Hall Lawn in Morwell.

The project collective aims to crochet 1,000 eco-friendly mini water balloons this week with the help of local creatives from The Bee and the Spider, in time for the family-friendly event.

“Water is an important part of the conversation, and this event reflects on the competing needs for water for everyone, not just for industry, but for the environment, and recreationally,” Project Arts Director PollyannaR said.

“We invite everyone to come along, learn and have fun in what will be set up as a mini Latrobe Valley, with a giant slip-and-slide depicting the Latrobe and Morwell rivers and aquifer, shell pools to symbolise the coal mines, and signs displaying all the facts and figures we’ve learned about mine rehabilitation throughout this arts project,” PollyannaR continued.

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12 November 2019

Annual Report 2018-19

The Latrobe Valley Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner’s second Annual Report was tabled in Parliament on 17 October 2019. The report was prepared in accordance with section 84AZH of the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (Vic), and outlines the Commissioner’s work and achievements for 2018-19.

A full copy of the Annual Report in PDF or Word Accessible format can be accessed here.

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18 October 2019

Latrobe Valley Mine Rehabilitation Strategy Project Team information session

The Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy (LVRRS) Project Team invites you to learn more about the work being undertaken to prepare for the future of the Latrobe Valley coal mines.

5:30pm – 7:30pm
Wednesday 30 October
Morwell Bowling Club
52 Hazelwood Road, Morwell

📨 If you’d like to attend, please RSVP by 29 October 2019 to lvrrs@ecodev.vic.gov.au or call 5160 9000.

More details are on our Events page here.

18 October 2019

What is your vision for the Latrobe Valley?

As the Latrobe Valley undergoes significant change over time through the closure and rehabilitation of the three brown coal mines and associated power stations, what would you like to see for our region?

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The Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy (LVRRS) Project Team has released its Regional Geotechnical and Water Study Synopsis Reports. The Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning (DELWP) has also released a Preliminary Land Use Vision for the Latrobe Valley for public consultation.

The release of these reports brings together 18 months of technical work to consider a range of stability and water issues regarding mine rehabilitation.

The Latrobe Valley Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner provides advice and recommendations to the LVRRS, and encourages you to join in the discussion in what is a key milestone in the development of the strategy.

The strategy will guide regional planning for mine rehabilitation in the Latrobe Valley, which is due to be completed by 30 June 2020.

Access the reports online

View the Latrobe Valley Regional Geotechnical and Regional Water Study Synopsis Reports here.

View the Vision here. Submissions closed Monday 4 November.

Read the Commissioner’s email update here. Subscribe to our mailing list if you’d like to receive the latest news.

8 October 2019

Sculpture building to reflect mine rehab learningsPaddy McKenzie Coal Hole workshop 300x300 - News

The mechanics of mine rehabilitation captured in the form of a life-size sculpture will be the next artistic installation of the Coal Hole project – and community members are invited to help create it.

Local artist Paddy McKenzie, a blacksmith extraordinaire by trade with an engineering background, will headline the free Metal Sculpture 101 with Paddy 2 day workshop on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 September, giving community members the opportunity to work with Paddy and the Coal Hole team to come up with a working sculpture that replicates mine rehabilitation.

View the media release here.

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19 September 2019

Better guidance on Latrobe Valley mine rehabilitation

New legislation now passed in the Victorian Parliament will make rehabilitation for the Latrobe Valley’s coal mines stronger and more transparent, increasing certainty for industry, landowners and local communities.

The Latrobe Valley Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner welcomes the amendments, which make it clear that closed mines must be rehabilitated to a safe and stable land form.

The new Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority will replace and succeed the Commissioner’s role, which has been monitoring mine rehabilitation since May 2017, in time for the completion of the Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy in June 2020.

The new Authority will be based at the GovHub in Morwell.

View the media release here.

11 September 2019

Coal Hole to catwalk mine rehab message in hi-vis wearable art

Wearable fashion in the form of hi-vis is set to transform Morwell’s Commercial Road into a catwalk this Sunday 28 July for an inaugural fashion parade run by the Coal Hole project, an initiative which aims to enable the community to express their ideas and feelings on mine rehabilitation through art.

View the media release here.

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24 July 2019

Community arts project ‘Coal Hole’ to create conversations on mine rehabilitation

Mine rehabilitation planning for all three Latrobe Valley coal mines is currently underway. Rehabilitation will take many decades to complete and will transform our community’s future.

‘Coal Hole’ has been developed to establish a local community-led arts collective who can lead a forward-focused and positive rehabilitation conversation within the community through art-making processes and narratives.

The project is a community engagement and education activity launched in partnership with local not-for-profit organisation The Big Picture Space, Inc.

View the media release here.

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21 June 2019

Our Technical Advisor meets with Inner Wheel Club of Moe

The Inner Wheel Club of Moe invited us along to their monthly meeting to talk about the rehabilitation and closure plans for the three Latrobe Valley coal mines.Inner Wheel Club of Moe May 2019 300x200 - News

‘By 2048, all three mines are projected to close,’ Technical Advisor Rhonda Hastie said, as she discussed the wide ranging issues of mine rehabilitation with around 20 interested members of the group – some raising questions about future power generation, recreational opportunities, and another asking, ‘what would China do?’

With 30 members strong, the club helps make a difference by supporting charities and other local initiatives, and is open to all women over the age of 18.

President Suzie Maxfield says the group originated from Rotary clubs, and while autonomous, still has those connections and always welcomes new members.

We would like to thank Suzie (right), Secretary Lorraine Backman (middle) and the Inner Wheel Club of Moe for hosting us!

As for China? The country has built what’s been considered the world’s largest floating solar farm on a former coal mine in the province of Anhui: http://bit.ly/2WLx7wZ.

6 June 2019

Newborough Mens Shed meeting with Commissioner

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A big thank you to the Newborough Mens Shed for having Professor Rae Mackay attend their weekly group meeting as guest speaker on Wednesday 27 March, which Secretary Toby Wilkinson described as a ‘great turnout’.

Around 20 members engaged enthusiastically in discussion with the Commissioner, who talked about his involvement in the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry, his role as Commissioner, and answered questions about the mine rehabilitation planning for Hazelwood, Yallourn and Loy Yang and their proposed final lake landforms.

The mens shed was formed 18 months ago and has grown to more than 40 members, meeting every Tuesday and Wednesday, with a breakfast held once a month on a Saturday.

28 March 2019

Commissioner meets with Latrobe Valley Sustainability GroupIMG 0327 300x225 - News

Professor Rae Mackay met with members of the Latrobe Valley Sustainability Group earlier this month to provide an update on the rehabilitation activities of the three Latrobe Valley mines.

Around 14 people attended the meeting which included Federal Labor Candidate for Gippsland Antoinette Holm.

“Rae is a real drawcard,” group representative Lorraine Bull said.

“(It’s been the) best attendance at our meetings for quite a while,” she added.

Mr Mackay spoke about his role in overseeing the rehabilitation of the mines and his involvement with the relevant stakeholders, the key requirements of ‘safe, stable, sustainable’ for rehabilitation, proposed future landforms by the mine operators, and the timeframe of completing rehabilitation for all three mines which look likely to extend beyond 2070.

“The mine operators have the responsibility to rehabilitate, whereas the government has the responsibility to make sure the mines do what they say they will do,” Mr Mackay said.

Mr Mackay met with the group for the first time in December 2017.

“The studies into the final landform options for the mines has progressed immensely since then so it was a great opportunity to give the group an update on what’s been happening in this space,” Mr Mackay concluded.

The Latrobe Valley Sustainability Group is a grassroots citizen’s group dedicated to encouraging the acceptance and understanding of climate change and the principles of sustainability by the wider community.

Mr Mackay is keen to speak with community members about mine rehabilitation. If you are a member of a local community group and would like the Commissioner to attend your next meeting, please contact the LVMRC on 1800 571 966 or email commissioner@lvmrc.vic.gov.au.

19 March 2019

Newsletter now available

Our first quarterly newsletter has been published. View the newsletter online here or download as a PDF.

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We’re on Facebook!

The LVMRC is now on Facebook. Connect with us at facebook.com/LVminerehab for the latest updates on LVMRC activities and mine rehabilitation in general.


Community information session – Overseeing our future:  Rehabilitation Planning for the Valley and Experiences from Germany

On Wednesday 12 December 2018, the Latrobe Valley Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner hosted a community information evening at the Morwell Bowling Club. The community was given an overview of the Commissioner’s monitoring and evaluation activities, as well as an insight into Germany’s experiences in successfully rehabilitating their brown coal mines. Presentations were followed by a Q&A session. For copies of the presentations and more information, visit the event page.


Annual Report published

The Latrobe Valley Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner’s first Annual Report was tabled in Parliament on 20 September 2018. The report was prepared in accordance with section 84AZH of the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (Vic), and outlines the Commissioner’s work and achievements for 2017-18.

A full copy of the Annual Report in PDF or Word Accessible format can be accessed here.


New office

The Latrobe Valley Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner and his staff have moved into their permanent office space at 55 Grey St in Traralgon.

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National Science Week 2018

Between 13 to 16 August, Professor Rae Mackay, Latrobe Valley Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner, was joined by a series of expert guests to give the community an insight into the latest science and technology aspects of mine rehabilitation. For more details, visit the National Science Week page.


Latrobe Valley Mine Rehabilitation Planning — One Year On

On 26 June 2018, Professor Rae Mackay, Latrobe Valley Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner, and representatives of the Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy project team presented an update their work over the last 12 months. See the event page for details on the presentations.


Mine rehabilitation planning in the news

The Commissioner has been meeting local residents as part of the community consultation phase of DELWP’s Regional Land Use Study 

The community consultations events were covered by Nine News Gippsland; their reports can be viewed here and here.

If you’d like to join the conversation and have your say, come along to one of our events, or contact us.


Community event: Latrobe Valley Mine Rehabilitation Planning

The end of June 2018 marks one year since the appointment of the Latrobe Valley Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner. Join the Commissioner, Professor Rae Mackay, and other guests for an update on the status of Latrobe Valley mine rehabilitation planning, the Commissioner’s work and the current stage of development of the Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy, followed by a community Q&A.

Tuesday 26 June, 5.30 pm – 7.30 pm

Morwell Bowling Club, 52 Hazelwood Rd, Morwell

Please RSVP by registering on the event website or by contacting the Commissioner’s office (email commissioner@lvmrc.vic.gov.au or phone 1800 571 966).


Latrobe Valley social history study: committee members needed

To help the state government develop its land use study, it is vital to start with a sound understanding of the Latrobe Valley’s social history and heritage. Historical knowledge is an important step in the strategy development process as it enables an appreciation of the connections that exist between the Valley and its communities.

The state government is seeking individuals to join a committee to review the draft outputs of a study into aspects of the Valley’s social history and industrial heritage and how they can be celebrated. Experienced heritage and history consultants, Context, will manage the first phase of research, community consultation and development of the social history report.

We would like to invite members of the Latrobe Valley community who are keen to be involved and:

  • Have a genuine passion for the Latrobe Valley, its people and its future
  • Have a link to the Latrobe Valley, for example having lived or worked in the area
  • Have some degree of knowledge of different aspects of the Latrobe Valley’s social history and industrial heritage
  • Be able to meet on three occasions spread from mid-2018 and possibly into early 2019. The first meeting will be held in the week ending 10 August 2018.

Your involvement will help us define and document the events, places and people which have contributed to the making the Latrobe Valley what it is today.

We will use the study to inform strategic plans and policies of the project area, including the parallel project to develop a preliminary land use vision for the mines.

If you would like to be involved, please confirm your interest via email to lvrrs@ecodev.vic.gov.au by 9 May 2018.

The social history study is a project of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. For more information, please visit their website.


Updating Latrobe City Council

On 30 April, Prof. Mackay provided an update on his work to a Latrobe City Council meeting. Prof. Mackay believes that keeping local council apprised of current and developing issues is critical to ensuring mine rehabilitation has a positive outcome for the community.


Involving Traditional Owners in mine rehabilitation discussions

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In late April, Prof. Mackay met with Roger Fenwick, CEO of Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation, to discuss ways to increase the involvement of the local Aboriginal community in mine rehabilitation discussions. Prof. Mackay and Mr. Fenwick committed to increased engagement, and will both work to ensure the views of Traditional Owners are represented.