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Latrobe Community Update 12/3/14
The Hazelwood open cut mine fire is controlled, which means the complete perimeter of the fire is secured and no breakaway is expected.
Hotspots are also being monitored and extinguished with specialist equipment.
Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley has advised that ‘over the next 10 days firefighters will continue to work with the mine staff to secure and maintain fire areas, and to respond to any small pockets of heat or smoke that occur’.
EMERGENCY RELIEF INFORMATION
COMMUNITY RESPITE CENTRE
Moe Town Hall,
Albert Street, Moe
Open hours 9:00am to 6:00pm every day
This centre is for you to use if you would like temporary relief from the smoky conditions. The centre is air conditioned and we encourage residents to use it.
COMMUNITY INFORMATION AND RECOVERY CENTRE
22 Hazelwood Road, Morwell
Opening hours are 9am – 6pm daily.
HEALTH ASSESSMENT CENTRE
Regional Office Ambulance Victoria Gippsland
2 Saskia Way, Morwell
(Next to the Mid-Valley Shopping Centre)
Opening hours 8.00am to 8.00pm every day
Visit this centre if you would like a free health assessment in relation to the effects of the mine
fire and the smoky conditions. The centre has staff to accommodate the community needs. Qualified nurses and paramedics will offer primary health assessments, including basic respiratory, blood pressure, heart rate and temperature checks. Should anyone require medical care they will be referred to either their own Doctor or to Latrobe Regional Hospital.
Relocation assistance is available for Morwell residents south of the railway line affected by the Hazelwood open cut mine fire. The Department of Human Services will arrange suitable accommodation for those identified as ‘at risk’ who can’t find their own accommodation.
This will be found as close to Morwell as possible.
Contact the Department of Human Services hotline on 1800 006 468 for more information.
FREE P2 MASKS
Available at the following locations:
- St Vincent de Paul, Latrobe
- City Headquarters, Morwell
- Library, Morwell Leisure Centre, Morwell
- Neighbourhood House, Bendigo Bank, Morwell
- Bowling Club and other retail outlets.
- Respite Centre at the Moe Town Hall
- Community Information Points.
For further information about face masks, visit www.health.vic.gov.au/hazelwood It’s important to note that face masks only come in one size so be aware children may find them difficult to fit and wear properly. Please visit the website to get more information.
LATROBE CITY COUNCIL UPDATE
Latrobe City Council has secured $50,000 in state government funding to make a head start on the clean up effort. The first initiative to be implemented from this funding will be assisted cleaning for the high needs members of the Morwell community who are registered with Council’s Home and Community Care (HACC) program.
Funding has been used to purchase special filtered vacuum cleaners capable of picking up fine particles, as well as air-purifiers, which will be used by the HACC team to clean the homes of their clients as needed. This initiative follows on from the proactive work that Council has been doing since the fire started, such as increasing the frequency of street cleaning in the most affected areas of Morwell and progressively cleaning public spaces, ahead of a broader clean up.
FREE VLINE TRANSPORT
Morwell residents are able to get free transport on 18 return train services between Morwell and Melbourne each weekday. If you are interested in taking up the offer, you can get a free ticket from the VLine staff at the Morwell Station.
For further information, please contact 1800 800 007.
FREE ENTRY OFFERS
Morwell residents seeking respite from the smoky conditions caused by the Hazelwood open-cut fire are being offered free entry into Museum Victoria venues including Melbourne Museum,
Scienceworks and the Immigration Museum. Morwell residents can obtain free entry to these
venues by showing address identification at the ticket counters, initially for the month of March.
INFORMATION SESSIONS AT MORWELL NEIGHBOURHOOD HOUSE
Weekly information sessions regarding the fire situation and the health implications.
- Tuesday 11th March 10am – 11am
- Tuesday 18th March 10am – 11am
- Tuesday 25th March 10am – 11am
Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available. For further information contact the Morwell Neighbourhood House on 5134 5488
VICTORIAN WORKCOVER AUTHORITY ADVISORY SERVICE
The Victorian Work Cover Authority is advising workplaces to stay up to date with public health information and air quality alerts issued by the Department of Health and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). The Department of Health and the EPA are providing advice for the entire community, so employers can keep abreast of any developments that might affect their staff. For information on workplace safety, please phone the VWA Advisory Service on 1800 136 089.
Further mentoring sessions will be available and future dates will be advised.
ASSISTANCE FOR MORWELL SMALL BUSINESSES
Small Grants will be available for businesses with less than 20 employees.
For more information or to register your interest call the Business Victoria on 13 22 15 or visit www.business.vic.gov.au
COMMUNITY VACUUM CLEANERS AVAILABLE TO BORROW
The CFA have purchased several HEPA vacuum cleaners (cleaners that have filters which are made specifically for vacuuming small particles). If you are interested in borrowing one of these to clean around your home, you are able to get them at the following locations:
- Morwell Neighbourhood House
- Pro Rent
- Berry Street
- Men’s Shed Morwell
EPA AIR QUALITY MONITORING UPDATE
Since the fire, EPA Victoria has doubled its air quality monitoring efforts, with 19 fixed and mobile air monitoring stations and devices to measure air quality now in place. The monitoring locations have been selected to ensure they are in the right places to capture overall air quality, to get the most accurate data possible.
This accurate, evidence-based data is provided by EPA scientists to the Department of Health, to assess potential health risks and impacts. This advice is then given to Latrobe Valley residents with any actions required. Twice-daily air quality forecasts are available on the EPA website at www.epa.vic.gov.au/aqlatrobe-valley-mine-fire
IMPORTANT NUMBERS TO REMEMBER
Nurse-on-Call on 1300 60 60 24
This is a phone service that allows you to discuss any health related issue with a registered nurse, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the cost of a local call from anywhere in Victoria.
Department of Health 1300 761 874
Department of Health have developed a dedicated webpage and a range of resources relating to smoke and health.
The Department of Human Services
A range of support services including personal, emotional, psychological and financial help.
EPA Victoria 1300 372 842 (24 hours)
Asthma Foundation 1800 278 462
Latrobe City Council 1300 367 700
VicRoads 131170 or the VicRoads website: http://traffic.vicroads.vic.gov.au/
Victorian Bushfire Information Line (VBIL)
Freecall 1800 240 667.
National relay Service on 1800 555 677.
Content from: Community Information Newsletter Number 10 - Latrobe Valley Open Cut Mine Fire - 12 March 2014