Senate debates

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Questions without Notice

Hazelwood Coalmine

2:28 pm

Photo of Richard Di NataleRichard Di Natale (Victoria, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

My question is to the minister representing the Prime Minister, Senator Abetz. My question is related to the ongoing disaster at the Hazelwood coalmine in Morwell, Victoria. The potential threat to the health of the residents was immediately obvious when this fire began on 9 February. Residents have been exposed to smoke containing dangerous levels of particulate matter and other toxic substances. They have been told to avoid exposure to this toxic smoke, yet until recently they were denied any assistance or support to evacuate.

Minister, when was the government contacted by the Victorian Premier? Why did the Prime Minister wait until just last weekend to announce limited Commonwealth assistance? And what further assistance will the government make available for the residents of Morwell?


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