A change to rehabilitation methods affects Hazelwood jobs
A change to rehabilitation works at the Hazelwood mine will see a number of jobs lost at the end of June, six months earlier than expected.
In a statement (below), Engie said the current use of a 'bucket wheel excavator and travelling stacker' is no longer viable as a buttressing method.
The pit is currently being prepared for filling with water as a lake.
Engie says the change comes following a safety review by WorkSafe and other authorities of an earth movement incident late last year.
The company will revert to a truck and shovel process from 30 June.
Existing contractors and local labour will be used, meaning 60 staff will be made redundant sooner than expected.
Affected staff will meet with their union this afternoon.
STATEMENT FROM ENGIE
To ensure a safe, stable and sustainable final landform at the rehabilitated Mine, the Hazelwood Rehabilitation Project is changing the methodology for batter stability work.
The new approach follows a material displacement in September 2017 and subsequent reviews by the company and regulators.
The new methodology, developed with independent external experts, identified the ongoing use of the bucketwheel excavator and stacker method was not suitable for long-term rehabilitation activities, nor was it viable in the wet winter months.
In line with expert recommendations, Hazelwood Mine rehabilitation activities will now revert to a truck and shovel process using existing contractors and local labour.
In practical terms, the methodology to be used in the future relies on truck and shovel earth movements to build batters from the base up, using high-quality materials. This differs from the top down bucketwheel excavator and stacker method which does not allow for the same precision of earth movement.
The change in process will result in the loss of 60 jobs around 30 June, 2018 - six months earlier than originally estimated.
Departing employees will receive all their entitlements, including a redundancy package. They will also have access to a range of support services including outplacement, employee assistance programs and a $4,000 training allowance.
The number of employees and subcontractors required for future works will depend on the Mine rehabilitation scope of work.