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The future of Latrobe Valley mine rehabilitation

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The Victorian Government has released the first amendment to its Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy (LVRRS).

The LVRRS was released in 2020 and aims to outline policy and provide guidance to progress mine rehabilitation planning.

Its new amendment aims to better reflect the context for coal mine rehabilitation, to build on water access guidance and provide more certainty on the rehabilitation approval pathway.

“Since the strategy’s first release in 2020, there has been a significant amount of work on its implementation actions, including technical and environmental studies, to help guide rehabilitation planning from mine operators,” the Victorian Government said.

“The government is already implementing a new trailing liabilities scheme, to hold mine operators accountable to their rehabilitation requirements.

“The regulatory framework has also been strengthened to require mine operators to develop more detailed rehabilitation plans which will ensure more transparent decision-making from government and greater community engagement.”

The new amendment to the LVRRS allows for Yallourn and Loy Yang mine operators to apply for surface water access simultaneously, so the impacts of both projects can be reviewed together. Before, mine licensees could only apply for water access within five years of its confirmed closure.

The amendment is expected to give more certainty about the future of the coal mines. It features improved guidance for mine rehabilitation planning in the Latrobe Valley area to ensure its community’s safety is upheld and their voices are heard.

“The transition to renewables brings many opportunities for the Latrobe Valley that include transforming the coal-fired power stations and mine sites for new uses,” Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio said.

“These changes will better protect community interests, ensuring the mines can progress rehabilitation planning and delivery to get the best outcomes possible for the Gippsland region.”

Declared coal mines located in the Latrobe Valley region include Hazelwood, Loy Yang and Yallourn.

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