I am deeply disappointed by the government's handling of the Hazelwood mine fire disaster. In order to redress this situation, as a matter of urgency, I call on you to:
- Create a comprehensive Disaster Relief Fund, which includes: respite accommodation for all residents requesting it; a professional clean up of all houses and buildings affected by coal ash; compensation for all loss of earnings of businesses and individuals; compensation for all health-related and veterinary expenses incurred; compensation for relocation expenses and other expenses incurred as a result of coping with the disaster; additional funding for schools, hospitals, and public services that have strained by dealing with this disaster.
Direct the Chief Health Officer, Dr Rosemary Lester, to commission an independent expert to examine and report publicly on the short term health impacts on Latrobe Valley residents including any increases in hospital presentations and mortality, and identify if there are any likely medium to long-term health risks to residents. If risks are identified, then make recommendations to the Victorian Health Minister regarding any short-comings of the public health system in the Latrobe Valley and the actions required to readdress these issues. The report containing the recommendations must also be tabled in Victorian Parliament. Undertake a baseline health survey and continuing long term health study to ascertain any long term effects.
Amend the terms of reference for the Judicial Inquiry to ensure that the inquiry must: accept public submissions; determine whether the regulations are sufficient to prevent future fires; and report all findings publicly.