What is happening to the Hazelwood Power Station?
Owners of the Hazelwood Power Station, ENGIE, have announced they will close their mine and power plant at Hazelwood, which employs 750 local people directly and as many as 1200 people indirectly.
The closure of Hazelwood is part of the broader transition away from coal-fired power generation. The closure provides Victoria with a significant opportunity to accelerate its transition to a low carbon economy, while all the time ensuring crucial steps are taken to keep Victoria’s energy supplies reliable and affordable.
What is the Victorian Government doing to look after Hazelwood workers?
The Latrobe Valley Authority will support affected workers and their families to access worker transition, skill and job support services. Our people will speak to affected staff about their needs, and help them receive tailored support and be connected with opportunities to re-skill and re-train.
Worker transition and skills support services are available from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday at the Latrobe Valley Authority offices, 131 Princes Drive, Morwell.
What is the Victorian Government doing to protect the environment and the safety of the local community?
The government will work with ENGIE to clean up and rehabilitate the Hazelwood Power Station and Mine site.
The government has legislation, licences and regulators to make sure mining land is restored to its natural state following a closure. Coal mining in Victoria is covered by the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990. The Act establishes a legal framework to ensure the land is looked after through a rehabilitation plan approved by the Earth Resources Regulator.
A rehabilitation plan must take into account:
- Any special characteristics of the land.
- The surrounding environment.
- The need to stabilise the land.
- The desirability of returning agricultural land to a state that is as close as reasonably possible to its state before the mining licence was granted.
- Any long-term degradation of the environment.
Mine rehabilitation will take at least a decade. The initial activities will start immediately and include coverage of exposed coal seams with overburden to reduce the risk of fire. A Regional Water Study is also being done to improve understanding of the hydrogeological and hydrological interactions across the region, and the impacts that stopping mine dewatering will have.
Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) licenses environmental discharges from the Hazelwood Power Station. EPA will regulate the environmental aspects of decommissioning, remediation and water discharges from the cooling pond and site. You can find out more about the Environmental Protection Authority’s involvement at the site here
EPA Victoria has also established rapid air quality monitoring capabilities and a State Smoke Plan is in place to guide response to fires and other smoke events.
Last updated: March 23, 2017