THE Baillieu government is working on a long-term strategy to try to head off objections to its plans to develop Victoria’s brown coal reserves.
The plan is outlined in documents – seen by The Age – being prepared by the government to sell new projects in the wake of climate change.
The documents say the plan will ”identify actions to address issues associated with the long-term development of coal from an economic, community and environmental perspective”.
The Coal Action (Strategic) Plan will focus on infrastructure needs and land-use planning for new coal projects.
It will also seek to address resource conflicts between communities and miners over water use, native vegetation and native title, and look at options for mine rehabilitation.
The documents, dubbed ”the coal narrative”, argue the government has a role in reducing barriers to investment in coal.
”Investment will flow when industry sees signs that solutions to issues such as export and transport infrastructure requirements can be found. Similarly, land-use and strategic planning and long-term resource protection need to happen now to secure future investment,” they say.
Last month the Baillieu government confirmed it would tender for new brown coal allocations in the Latrobe Valley for export schemes and low-emission power projects.
Brown coal has become a target of environment groups and several local community campaigns have also emerged against exploration for brown coal near or on farming land, including at Bacchus Marsh and Deans Marsh.