Many people in the Latrobe Valley expressed concern about the effects the Hazelwood mine fire had, and could have, on domestic pets and agriculture. People in the community reported that their pets and animals were covered in soot and ash and displayed symptoms of lethargy and dizziness. Many people sought veterinary help to treat sick pets.

Ms Lisa Wilson, Gippsland Homeless Network Coordinator at Quantum, described to the Board the effects of smoke and ash on her pets when they moved from Morwell: ‘The change in the cats was… immediate, their coats changed colour and they were no longer so sedate.’115