The Latrobe Health Assembly has noted the recent announcement concerning the proposed Chunxing Hazelwood Plant and the decision to approve the facility without further recourse to VCAT. The Latrobe Health Assembly, through its Community Chair, Ms Tanya Rong, would like to express its disappointment that the decision to approve the plant has been made without considering the concerns of the Latrobe Valley community, as reflected in the previous decision of Latrobe City to not approve a planning permit for this facility.
The Latrobe Health Assembly has, over the past twelve months, noted significant concerns from residents about the potential impacts of the proposed Chunxing Hazelwood plant and in recent days many community members have again touched based with Ms Rong to express their continued concerns.
The Latrobe Health Assembly’s submission to a Latrobe City Council noted that the proposed plant will be located in an area relatively close to Morwell, being situated some three kilometres, and in some cases less, to housing, schools, child care centres, businesses and retail centres. Ms Rong said of particular concern to community members was the fact that the Hazelwood North Primary school and its adjacent playgroup centre is around 1.7km from the plant’s stack.
The Latrobe Health Assembly’s submission also noted that there are other schools in close proximity: Sacred Heart Primary School, FLO (Flexible Learning Option school), Maryvale Crescent Kindergarten, Commercial Road Kindergarten and Good Start Early Learning Centre located south of Commercial Road.
Ms Rong also said that community members were concerned that the proposed site has a long history of heavy industrial use and exposure to various toxic chemicals and this has raised further concerns about workforce safety. She also indicated that some residents feel that the image of the Latrobe Valley will be adversely affected by the development.
The Latrobe Health Assembly, on behalf of the Latrobe Valley community, would ask that the Victorian Government note that community remain concerned about the impact of the proposed facility and ask that every endeavour be made to alleviate these concerns.