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Hazelwood mine fire update 4/3/14
Firefighters continue to work around the clock on the Hazelwood open cut mine fire, supported by aircraft.
Efforts will continue to be focused on reducing the fire and smoke within the coal mine to protect the community and infrastructure.
Since 17 February, community information teams have spoken to over 10,000 people face to face through over 120 different activities, including train travel and walking the streets.
EMERGENCY RELIEF INFORMATION
COMMUNITY RESPITE CENTRE
Moe Town Hall, Albert Street, Moe, 9am to 6pm daily
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:
A Community Information and Recovery Centre in Morwell has also been opened at 22 Hazelwood Road, Morwell. 9am – 6pm daily.
COMMUNITY INFORMATION POINT
An information bus will be located outside the Community Information and Recovery Centre - 22 Hazelwood Road, Morwell.
A number of information points have also been established, for more information please contact the Victorian Bushfire Information Line (VBIL) on 1800 240 667 or Latrobe City Council on 1300 376 700.
HEALTH ASSESSMENT CENTRE
Regional Office Ambulance Victoria Gippsland
2 Saskia Way, Morwell
(Next to the Mid-Valley Shopping Centre)
8am to 8pm daily
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 increased its numbers of 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 South residents affected by the Hazelwood open cut mine fire.
The Department of Human Resources 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 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.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries website details lots of information that pet owners need to be aware of.
If you are considering relocating your pets, here’s a quick reference guide:
- Transport cage for small animals
- Suitable housing for species (eg, reptiles, fish etc)
- Other essential equipment for care of the animal.
Animals being relocated, even with their family are under large amounts of stress. Make sure all your animals have some form of identification securely fastened to them (or their cage in the case of smaller caged pets).
Bring microchip details if possible.
To alleviate their stress, ensure they have constant access to food and water and keep them in a quiet area if possible.
CARE OF PETS EXPOSED TO SMOKE AND ASH PARTICLES
It is wise to minimise the likely exposure of pets through:
- Keeping pets confined inside when smoke is at its worst,
- Minimising the time pets spend outdoors,
- Exercising them in a location away from areas affected by smoke,
- Reducing ingestion through manual grooming or washing,
- When smoke is at its worst, cover outdoor fish ponds and bring caged birds indoors into cleaner air.
Animals with heart and breathing conditions will be at higher risk of being adversely affected by the smoke. if your pet has one of these complaints, see veterinary advice.
For more information, visit their website on www.depi.vic.gov.au
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
…and at Community Information Points.
P2 MASKS AND CHILDREN
Please note that the P2 Masks that you are receiving are made especially for adults. These masks will not fit children and there is currently no manufacturer for children’s masks.
INFORMATION SESSIONS AT MORWELL NEIGHBOURHOOD HOUSE
Weekly information sessions regarding the fire situation and the health implications. CFA Community Engagement team and a health professional will be there:
- Tuesday 4 March 10am – 11am
- Tuesday 11 March 10am – 11am
- Tuesday 18 March 10am – 11am
- Tuesday 25 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.
Content from: Community Information Newsletter Number 8, Latrobe Valley Open Cut Mine Fire