Only 45 days after a town in Australia endured the outbreak of a devastating coal mine fire, the environmental non-profit organization Environment Victoria has claimed that the government's cleanup proceedings have been put to a halt.

Only 45 days after a town in Australia endured the outbreak of a devastating coal mine fire, the environmental non-profit organization Environment Victoria has claimed that the government's cleanup proceedings have been put to a halt. While the Victorian government has assured citizens that efforts have not been ceased, local residents of Morwell have begun to stage a protest outside a coal industry conference in Melbourne.

Environment Victoria has expressed resentment toward the government's handling of the aftermath of the fire due toward the recent announcement of a $90 million in federal grants being awarded toward new Latrobe Valley coal projects.

The coal mine fire erupted at a Hazelwood power station in Latrobe Valley, Victoria on February 9, when two brushfires spread out into a brown coal mine, resulting in a vast amount of acrid smoke covering the city of Morwell. Currently, more than 540 Morwell homes have received cleaning for ash buildup, while there is still further progress to be achieved.

Along with Environment Victoria, the protests are being administered by another local community activism group called Voices of the Valley. Simon Ellis, a spokesperson for Voices of the Valley, condemned the government's approval of additional coal mine funding, expressing that residents of Morwell should be outraged by the lack of the proposed $90 million being put toward cleaning up the fire's aftermath.  

"The $2 million in support announced by the Napthine Government has already been used, but the clean-up isn't close to being finished," Ellis said. "The $90 million should be used to help the residents who have suffered in this disaster, not the coal industry. It would be an insult to Latrobe Valley residents if the State and Federal Government's first significant response to the Hazelwood fire was to fund new coal mines and technologies."

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