Pondage answers sought

Nationals candidate for Morwell Sheridan Bond wants the government to reveal what it knows about a safety report about the Hazelwood Pondage dam wall, remediation works, and what discussions it is having with ENGIE to keep the pondage open.

"This is a very disappointing announcement for our community and there is a high level of scepticism around about the timing of the announcement," Ms Bond said.

"Obviously, community safety has to be the number one priority so we accept ENGIE's explanations on face value," Ms Bond said.

"The government and ENGIE should also ensure that their report they've used to justify the closure is released publicly so there is full transparency."

Last week ENGIE closed the pondage after a technical study revealed the dam wall had deteriorated and did not comply with regulatory guidelines.

The closure led to the cancellation of major yacht club events and all water activities.

On-shore activities like fishing are still permitted.

Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath asked the government to support the community, when she raised the issue in parliament last week.

"With the pondage now closed, this has brought huge disappointment, bewilderment and frustration to the Latrobe Valley community," Ms Bath said.

She called on the government to state how it had consulted with key stakeholders and community groups associated with the pondage.

"No one is arguing the point about public safety but the government has been deafening in its silence on how it is going to support the community and the many user groups around the pondage on this issue," Ms Bath said.

Member for Morwell Russell Northe said he wanted the government to "come clean over the future of the pondage" and to provide more certainty.

"This needs the government to step in and say what's happening. The government is the overseer and regulator, they need to state if it's going to stay open or closed," Mr Northe said.

Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing said she and other government MPs and ministers had been talking to ENGIE about the pondage.

Ms Shing said taking care of safety was the first priority, which was something both ENGIE and the government were taking seriously.

"There is no conspiracy here. ENGIE has said the community and the government will be updated with information that may emerge before the final report findings," Ms Shing said.

"It's important to remember that ENGIE is responsible for this site and it is part of ENGIE's licence conditions to comply with the guidelines for large dams."

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