Exploit Victoria’s brown coal: Ferguson

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The Minister for Energy and Resources Martin Ferguson is pushing plans to turn the Latrobe Valley into a mining hub and develop Victoria’s large brown coal reserves.

ABC News reports Ferguson backed the plans at an international energy conference in Melbourne this week.

Victoria Minister for Energy and Resources Michael O’Brien also supported the plans and said there was a "massive interest" in VIC brown coal.

"There are countries and companies prepared to invest in Victoria, invest in the valley and the Victorian Government is certainly encouraging that," he said.

O’Brien said VIC had the largest brown coal deposit after Russia and exploiting the resource would boost investment and employment in the state.

He said new technology would allow the coal to be burnt with low emissions.

According to ABC News the VIC Government has previously indicated intentions to uncover 40 billion tonnes of brown coal in the Latrobe Valley.

The plans have drawn criticism from environmental groups, which say the economic benefits of developing the resource would be far outweighed by the environmental impact.

Image: The Age, Justin McManus

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