Authors: Reeves, JM; Baumgartl, T; Morgan, D; Reimers, V; Green, M

Open access courtesy of:

DOI https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/2215_09

Cite As:
Reeves, JM, Baumgartl, T, Morgan, D, Reimers, V & Green, M 2022, 'Community capacity to envisage a post-mine future: rehabilitation options for Latrobe Valley brown coal mines', in AB Fourie, M Tibbett & G Boggs (eds), Mine Closure 2022: 15th International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 173-186, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/2215_09

Download citation as:   ris   bibtex   endnote   text   Zotero


Abstract:
Since closure of the Hazelwood Power Station in 2017, and the associated Morwell open cut mine, the community of the Latrobe Valley have largely come to terms with the coming end of an industry that for almost a century defined their region. However, the capacity for the community to envisage what comes next has been limited. This is in part due to uncertainty of the viability of options for rehabilitation, future ownership and responsibility for the sites, and a challenging policy framework. It is also related to systemic social issues, such as mistrust of both government and energy companies, as well as over-consultation fatigue. We draw here on findings from a recent study, commissioned by AGL Loy Yang, on the community perspectives on the final void forms and future land and water uses of the three Latrobe Valley open cut brown coal mines – and surrounding lands. The data were obtained through a series of focus groups with key stakeholders, including community organisations, environmental groups, government authorities, business groups, primary producers and Traditional Owners; and a web-based survey, completed by over 560 participants. From this we found a common theme concerning a desire to have the land returned to the community and to leave a positive legacy for the sites. Options that were visually attractive and enabled either recreation and/or tourism were preferred to future industrial uses; environmental benefit was also a strong priority. Authentic community consultation necessitates that the community be empowered to make an informed contribution to the discussion, and that they are made aware of how their input will be utilised. The community of the Latrobe Valley are invested in having a positive outcome for their region, which future generations can benefit from. To achieve this, the community must be actively engaged in the process.

Keywords: transition, community consultation, post-mine land use, revisioning

References:
Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016, , viewed 2 June 2022.
Bond, C & Kelly, L 2021, ‘Returning land to country: Indigenous engagement in mined land closure and rehabilitation’, Australian Journal of Management, vol. 46, no. 1, pp. 174–192,
Cameron, J & Gibson, K 2005, ‘Alternative pathways to community an economic development: the Latrobe Valley community partnering project’, Geographical Research, vol. 43, no. 3, pp. 274–285.
Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources 2006, Australian Government, Mine Closure and Completion: Leading Practice Sustainable Development Program for the Mining Industry.
DELWP (Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning) 2020, ‘Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy Latrobe System Water Availability, Technical Report, Victorian State Government.
DELWP 2019, Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy Stakeholder and Community Engagement Strategy,
DELWP 2019, ‘DRAFT Preliminary Land Use Vision’, Latrobe Regional Rehabilitation Strategy, Victorian State Government.
DJPR (Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions) Earth Resources 2020, ‘Alternative water factsheet’
Duffy, M & Whyte, S 2017, ‘The Latrobe Valley: The politics of loss and hope in a region of transition’, Australasian Journal of Regional Studies, vol. 23, pp. 421–446.
Furnaro, A, Herpich, P, Brauers, H, Oei, P-Y, Kemfert, C & Look, W 2021, ‘German just transition: A review of public policies to assist German coal communities in transition’, Report 21–3,
Government of Victoria 1990, Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990, Australia.
Harrahill, K & Douglas, O 2019, 'Framework development for ‘just transition’ in coal producing jurisdictions, Energy Policy, doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2019.110990
HMFI 2017, ‘Hazelwood Mine Fire Board of Inquiry 2016’, Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry Report 2015/2016 Volume IV – Mine Rehabilitation, Melbourne.
Jakob, M, Steckel, JC, Jotzo, F, ……. Urpelaien, J 2020, ‘The future of coal in a carbon-constrained climate’, Nature Climate Change, vol. 10, pp. 704–707.
Kruger, RA & Casey, MA 2009, ‘Focus groups: A practical guide for applied research’, Thousand Oaks, Sage Publications.
Lawrence, R & O’Faircheallaigh, C 2022, ‘Shadow places’ and the social impacts of the Ranger uranium mine’, Environmental Impact Assessment Review 93: 106723,
Lloyd, S 2019, ‘A stakeholder advisory committee as a mechanism to guide the preparation of a regional mine rehabilitation strategy: two years in, what have we learnt?’ in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Proceedings Mine Closure 2019, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth.
Measham, T, Ackermann, F, Everingham, J, Barber, M, Haslam-McKenzie, F & Maybee, B 2021, ‘Understanding stakeholder values in post-mining economies: a literature review’, CRC for Transformations in Mining Economies, Brisbane.
Monacella, R & Douglas, C 2017, Future Morwell. Future Latrobe Valley, RMIT University.
Monosky, M & Keeling, A 2021, ‘Planning for social and community-engaged closure: A comparison of mine closure plans from Canada’s territorial and provincial North’, Journal of Environment Management, vol. 277, pp. 11132.
Roche, C & Judd, S 2016, ‘Ground truths: taking responsibility for Australia’s mining legacies’, Mineral Policy Institute.
Snell, D 2018, ‘Just transition? Conceptual challenges meet stark reality in a ‘transitioning’ coal region in Australia’, Globalizations, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 550–564.
UNFCCC 2015, Paris Agreement. Paris: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. pdf/paris_agreement_english_.pdf.
UNFCCC 2021, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Draft decision/CMA.3, Glasgow Climate Pact,
Unger, CJ, Everingham, J-A & Bond, CJ 2020, ‘Transition or transformation: shifting priorities and stakeholders in Australian mined land rehabilitation and closure’, Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 27, Issue 1, pp 84–113,
Weller, S 2018, ‘Just transition? Strategic framing and the challenges facing coal dependent communities,’ Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 298–316.
Xavier, AM, Veiga, MV & van Zyl, D 2015, ‘Introduction and assessment of a socioeconomic mine closure framework,’ Journal of Management and Sustainability, vol. 5, pp. 38–49.




© Copyright 2022, Australian Centre for Geomechanics (ACG), The University of Western Australia. All rights reserved.
Please direct any queries or error reports to repository-acg@uwa.edu.au