Regulating Rehabilitation

On 19 June 2019, the Latrobe Valley Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner, Prof. Rae Mackay, hosted a public forum exploring the role of government regulators in rehabilitation of the Latrobe Valley brown coal mines.

Representatives from Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA), Earth Resources Regulation (ERR) and WorkSafe Victoria discussed the individual roles of the three regulatory bodies and how they work together to manage potential risks to site workers and the general public throughout the rehabilitation period.

This forum was the largest the Commissioner has hosted, with 93 audience members in attendance.

Prof. Mackay opened with an update on current rehabilitation activities. He informed the audience that the Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy was still intending to be announced by June 2020.  The technical studies for water and ground movement are under final review prior to dissemination, and strategy development has commenced with a discussion paper due to be released toward the end of 2019. The Commissioner also provided an update on the planned Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority. At the time of the forum, the Bill to establish the Authority was being passed through Parliament. Finally, the Commissioner gave a brief update on Hazelwood mine’s rehabilitation progress.

Representatives from the three regulators then gave a brief presentation of their roles in regulating rehabilitation. The presentation slides can be downloaded below.

Wes Douglass, Regional Manager Gippsland, Mine Fire & Emergency represented ERR, which operates under the Department of Jobs Precincts and Regions. He explained that ERR operates under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990, and regulates dust, stability, fire risk and prevention, and rehabilitation within the boundaries of the mine licence.

The EPA, represented by Stephen Lansdell, Regional Manager Gippsland Region, regulates waste and emissions emanating from mine sites, including dust, to ensure no adverse impact to the public and environment. He also noted that EPA regulates and monitors water quality.

Kevin Hayes, representing WorkSafe Victoria, explained how his organisation was responsible for regulations regarding occupational health and safety for workers within the mines.

Prof. Mackay facilitated a question and answer session, in which the audience could ask any questions they had about the regulators and rehabilitation. An overview of the Q&A can be downloaded below.

Attendees were also given the opportunity to submit written questions. The written questions and their answers can be downloaded below.

If you attended the forum, we would appreciate you providing your feedback


Presentation slides



Notes from panel Q&A



Answers to written questions