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Artist's impression: Hazelwood mine as a lake.

Asbestos strategy call

Asbestos strategy call

Artist's impression: Hazelwood mine as a lake.

Mine repurposing group calls for asbestos strategy

The group Great Latrobe Park is calling for a coordinated strategy by the state government for the dumping of asbestos from redundant Latrobe Valley power stations and other industries.

President Nina Burke said dumping cells around the coal mines will limit their potential use when they are re-purposed in the future.

"Eventually, massive amounts of asbestos from redundant power stations and other industrial, commercial and domestic sources in the Latrobe Valley will have to be disposed of," Ms Burke said.

"There is a great risk that the disposal of each of the individual asbestos sources may be handled completely independently of each other. This could, all too easily, lead to the Latrobe Valley becoming increasingly littered with lots of separate asbestos dumps each sterilizing their affected areas and preventing other productive uses."

Great Latrobe Park said Premier Daniel Andrews announced the establishment of a task force to manage asbestos waste almost six months ago.

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"The Premier stated the government would not just develop a plan for each issue as it came along, but develop a proper rule book to be applied consistently to each and every occasion when contaminated material needs to be dealt with.

"So far, however, it would seem that issues associated with Energy Brix and Hazelwood are being considered more or less on their own."

Ms Burke said her group believes there is an urgent need for the development of a comprehensive regional asbestos waste disposal strategy.

"This strategy needs to be developed in a manner that is compatible with a visionary region-wide strategy for the progressive repurposing of the Latrobe Valley’s massive open cut areas so that they become attractive, useful long-term assets for the region and Victoria.

"These approaches will be necessary to prevent problems generated by lots of ad hoc decision-making which would be likely to result in the Latrobe Valley being left with lots of very unattractive, unsatisfactory outcomes in perpetuity," Ms Burke said.

Great Latrobe Park is an incorporated association, established in 2018 to provide a vision for the repurposed industrial areas of the Latrobe Valley.

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