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A year after it was shut down, Hazelwood’s dormant coal mine is more than a flesh wound in the earth....

By SUE SMETHURST


High above the township of Morwell on a hill overlooking the open-cut mine is a graveyard where the remains of the industrial dead are on display. The skeleton of a rusting dredger greets visitors as they enter Ridge Road, for decades the spot where busloads of excited school children would begin their ­excursion to PowerWorks, a museum “where ­students step out of the classroom and into the world of brown coal mining”.

On March 31, 2017, the gigantic dredgers ground to a halt and the turbines were forever silenced as the Hazelwood power station closed. Accompanied by the haunting sound of a lone bagpiper, hundreds of workers silently filed through the gates after their final shift, some alone, some arm in arm, each hanging their hat on the fence on their way out. “It felt like a funeral, a death in the family,” says Jarrod Whittaker, editor of the local newspaper The Latrobe Valley Express. Today, those orange and white helmets form part of a makeshift memorial on the grounds of the PowerWorks museum, which is open on ­weekends and public holidays thanks to volunteers....

Contact Ray Burgess 0407845923 Authorised by C Burgess 36 Dodemaides Rd Trafalgar Vic 3824