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A lush wetland with water in the centre and a wooden footbridge extending through the image. There are trees and other vegetation surrounding the water.
Sale Common Nature Conservation Reserve

We are moving ahead with mine rehabilitation planning in the Latrobe Valley.

The purpose of the Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy (LVRRS) is to provide guidance for climate resilient, transformation of the Latrobe Valley coal mines. We will work to make the Hazelwood, Yallourn and Loy Yang mines and adjacent lands to be safe, stable and sustainable landforms. The LVRRS also sets a clear pathway to progress mine rehabilitation.

We will provide opportunities for the community to have their say. Government decision-making will consider what the community has to say, as well as the region’s social, economic, environmental and cultural values.

Mine rehabilitation in a drying climate

The LVRRS makes clear that mine rehabilitation must consider our future drier climate.

In a drier climate or a long drought, mine licensees may need to consider manufactured water options if significant volumes of high reliability water is needed.

We have completed an analysis of using manufactured water for the project. As part of this work, we consulted with:

The mine licensees must complete a document known as a Declared Mine Rehabilitation Plan.

As part of that plan, they may consider that a manufactured water supply is needed as:

  • a primary source of water, or
  • as a contingency under a dry climate scenario or drought conditions, or
  • not needed at all.

More detailed work will be needed if manufactured water supply is part of a mine licensee declared mine rehabilitation plan. It is the obligation of the mine licensee to do this work.

The LVRRS 2023 amendment

A lot has changed since the LVRRS was released in 2020 including:

  • the introduction of a strengthened regulatory framework for mine rehabilitation
  • the earlier planned closures of power stations at Yallourn and Loy Yang A
  • commencement of an Environment Effects Statement for the proposed Hazelwood Mine Rehabilitation Project.

We amended the LVRRS in October 2023 to take in these changes and to update policy guidance based on new information gained through the implementation of the LVRRS.

This includes updates guidance on the type of conditions that could apply to water accessed for mine rehabilitation from the Latrobe River system, which ensures that water entitlements of existing water users and values in Gippsland are not diminished. The specific conditions for any future water access will be determined following the water access application process set out under the Water Act 1989 and after community and stakeholders have had their say.

We are committed to support the socio-economic transition of the Latrobe Valley through a range of actions. This includes the Central and Gippsland Region Sustainable Water Strategy, a plan for the future of water in the area.

Working together

Preparing and implementing mine rehabilitation plans is the responsibility of mine licensees. They need to have robust assessment and well-informed decision-making.

The amendment to the strategy supports mine licensees with this work by providing information to help develop rehabilitation plans.

The LVRRS helps government, industry and community to work together for a common goal: making sure there are positive long-term outcomes for the Latrobe Valley.

The Gunaikurnai Traditional Owners, farmers, environmental groups, stakeholders and the community will continue to be engaged throughout mine rehabilitation planning. There will be more opportunities for community and other stakeholders to have their say as planning for mine rehabilitation continues. This is included in the amendment.

The Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority (MLRA)

The MLRA is an independent authority working with community, industry and government.

The MLRA facilitates the rehabilitation of declared mine sites to ensure they are safe, stable and sustainable for use by future generations. Part of the Authority’s role is to monitor the implementation of the Strategy. It also makes sure that government and industry is progressing mine rehabilitation  planning.

LVRRS amendment – October 2023

Technical reports that support the amendment

Explanatory note: guidance on the type of access arrangements that could apply to surface water from the Latrobe River system for the purpose of mine rehabilitation.

Independent technical assessment: Type of conditions that could apply to water access for Latrobe Valley mine rehabilitation and associated risks and benefits

LVRRS Strategy – June 2020

Water in the Latrobe region

Water is used for many purposes by a variety of users in the Latrobe region. It:

  • supplies drinking water to towns
  • keeps parks and gardens green
  • creates economic opportunities through industry and agriculture, and
  • supports the environmental and Traditional Owner values of the Latrobe River system and downstream Gippsland Lakes system.

Read more about the region.

What was the 2020 Latrobe Valley Regional Water Study?

This study looked at the feasibility of supplying water to rehabilitate the Latrobe Valley’s brown coal mines once mining has ceased. This included, how this would happen and if this could be done without affecting water security to make sure there is reliable access to water for residents, industry,
farming, emergencies and the environment.

Application for water for mine rehabilitation

The Minister for Water has received an application from AGL Loy Yang for a new bulk entitlement to surface water from the Latrobe river system for water-based rehabilitation of the Loy Yang coal mine. Read more about bulk entitlement applications: Bulk entitlements (water.vic.gov.au).

Page last updated: 23/04/24