For AGL, strong community engagement allows us to understand and respond to the interests and concerns of our key stakeholders – the communities in which we operate.
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It weighs 21,000 tonnes, is over 10 storeys high and when fully extended wouldn’t fit in the MCG. It’s Loy Yang’s massive piece of machinery known as the TS4 stacker and this year it embarked on a three week, 19 kilometre journey from an external overburden site to the base of the mine.
The stacker will move excess materials like clay and soil, known as overburden, back into areas of the mine where coal is no longer extracted.
The journey to move it was five years in the planning and weeks in the undertaking. The stacker moves at eight metres per minute and despite its weight has a footprint less than that of a typical 4-wheel drive due to weight distribution. TS4 needed to cross Basslink where power cables were disconnected and dropped (during a Basslink planned outage) and the Hyland Highway with the road being closed to public traffic for a weekend.
Many stakeholders were engaged during planning and execution including VicRoads, Emergency Management Victoria and Basslink.
The journey was successful and now TS4 is at the base of the Loy Yang mine returning clay and soil to assist with natural stabilisation of the mined area, reduce fire risk at the base of the mine and assist with progressive rehabilitation.
To see part of TS4’s journey into the mine click here.
AGL Loy Yang is a member of the Integrated Mine Research Group (IMRG) which was formed in June 2016 by AGL Loy Yang, Engie Hazelwood and Energy Australia Yallourn to fulfill requirements from the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry Recommendation No. 18.
The IMRG held regular meetings and consulted with stakeholders to develop a list of research projects that will be undertaken as part of the 10 year research plan. The funding for each IMRG project will be determined on a project by project basis.
AGL Loy Yang was the first generator to sign up to the Worker Transition Scheme which is an agreement with the Victorian Government and unions to allow ex-Hazelwood workers to transition to other generators including Loy Yang A station and mine.
Through the scheme AGL receives funding from the State Government to assist with an early retirement program. The positions vacated will be advertised with appropriately qualified and experienced Hazelwood employees encouraged to apply.
The commissioner of taxation approved the scheme in April and payments made under the early retirement scheme are deemed not to be assessable income.
The first ex-Hazelwood worker started at AGL Loy Yang on 1st May.
The ERC which includes community and regulator representatives, meets bi-monthly to evaluate AGL Loy Yang’s environmental performance.
Recently, the ERC has taken a strong interest in community matters, and has been filling the role of Community Consultative Committee while this model is developed and implemented at AGl Loy Yang.
Community issues discussed through the year include: transition, rehabilitation, community engagement plan for 2016/18 and 17/18, and Community Consultative Committee (CCC) implementation.
At a Community Forum in May 2016 any interested community members were invited to attend the Environmental Review Committee meetings. Many community members took up that opportunity and have become regular attendees.
The LVRRS was formed as part of the response to the 2015/16 Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry
The inquiry noted that for rehabilitation of Latrobe Valley’s three brown coal mines the pit lakes and the partial backfill below water table are currently most viable options.
The LVRRS will examine and address some knowledge gaps associated with the pit lake rehabilitation option.
The Strategy will involve extensive geotechnical, groundwater and surface water studies, the assessment of potential regional impacts on the environment, and the evaluation of future land use options.
The Victorian Government will provide $12.6 million to fund the preparation of the Strategy which will be led by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) in partnership with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).
The Strategy will be in place by June 2020.
The Latrobe Valley Mine Rehabilitation Advisory committee will play a key role in community engagement and act a as conduit to broader stakeholder engagement during the life of the Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy.
AGL Loy Yang's Environment Business Partner Sarah Gilbert is on the committee. She has an engineering background and has worked in the environment field for over 15 years, both for the environmental regulator and private industry.
AGL Loy Yang continues to meet and engage with local stakeholders including federal and state members of parliament, Latrobe City Council, government departments and community groups. Regular updates on operations are provided as AGL remains committed to open, honest and transparent communication within the communities it operates.
"The day was a great way to reflect on the critical role that families play in teaching, supporting, and nurturing children – especially as they grow." - Jason Shields
National Families Week (15-21 May) celebrates the vital role that families play in Australian society, encouraging people to make contact with their extended families and share the enjoyment of family activities with the broader community.
Acknowledging this, Loy Yang's onsite Emergency Service provider – Falck – recently hosted a familyfriendly day at the Loy Yang Fire Station.
The day showcased the site's fire and rescue capability, as well as the associated equipment and appliances, and included a BBQ lunch.
Loy Yang's Emergency Response Manager, Jason Shields, said the day was a great way to reflect on the critical role that families play in teaching, supporting, and nurturing children – especially as they grow.
"This year's theme was 'Stronger Families, Stronger Communities'," Jason said. "It was perfect weather and our guests loved the demos... it was well received by all involved."
"I’d like to thank our Falck ESO Team for their assistance, and our valued client AGL for supporting the day.”
This year AGL Loy Yang signed on as a foundation member of the Committee for Gippsland.
The committee is one of the region’s leading advocacy groups and has had a positive influence in terms of securing major investment in the Gippsland area. Its report titled Our Region Our Future: Securing an Economic Future for Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley, looked at transition to a low-carbon future and what that means for the region. AGL provided critical input into this report and we support the industry recommendations.
AGL Loy Yang attended the Committee for Gippsland AGM this year and also regularly meet to engage and collaborate on transition for the Latrobe Valley community.
This year AGL Loy Yang took part in International Workers Memorial Day with head of mine Nigel Browne guest speaker at the event organised by Gippsland Asbestos Related Diseases Support group.
Held annually on the 28th April International Workers Memorial Day commemorates those who lost their lives to work-related death.
Nigel spoke about AGL Loy Yang’s safety vision of “zero harm to our people and environment”, the importance of physical and mental wellbeing, and how AGL believes everyone has a role to play in ensuring safety in the workplace.
Wreaths were laid to honour those people who have sadly lost their lives in the workplace.
AGL Loy Yang took part in an industry and skills roundtable discussion hosted by Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney and Victorian Skills Commissioner Neil Coulson.
As a key contributor and large employer in the region AGL Loy Yang joined other businesses, education providers and local government representatives to discuss the skills needed in as the Gippsland region moves forward.
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