Queensland to enhance its world leading mining rehabilitation framework
Published Thursday, 18 June, 2020 at 12:33 PM
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch
The Palaszczuk Government is continuing its plan to Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs by progressing important reforms to encourage job-creating mine rehabilitation.
Legislation has been introduced into Parliament today that will further improve our world-leading mine rehabilitation regulations and improve financial assurance outcomes for the state’s resources sector.
Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said the Environmental Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 (EPOLA Bill) will ensure Queensland continues to lead the way in the resources sector and will encourage mine rehabilitation work in regional Queensland.
“This Bill is the next step in our government’s plan to improve mine rehabilitation and create jobs in Queensland,” Ms Enoch said.
“In 2018 our government passed important mine rehabilitation laws and this Bill delivers on the commitment we made at that time to establish a Rehabilitation Commissioner.”
The EPOLA Bill includes the establishment of the Rehabilitation Commissioner as an independent statutory position, which will be responsible for monitoring and reporting on rehabilitation performance and trends across Queensland.
“The Rehabilitation Commissioner will further enhance Queensland’s rehabilitation framework and provide clear advice on best practice rehabilitation for the mining sector,” Ms Enoch said.
“The Commissioner will work closely with the community and industry stakeholders and deliver rigorous, scientific, and independent advice and recommendations regarding rehabilitation, to be used both by the government and industry.”
The position will also provide increased transparency to the sector. The Rehabilitation Commissioner will prepare public reports on the trends and performance of rehabilitation and best-practice management across Queensland.
The EPOLA Bill also includes amendments to the residual risk framework. These amendments will ensure that any remaining risks on former resource sites are appropriately identified, costed and managed. This will ensure that taxpayers don’t have to foot the bill for costs that arise after a resource site is surrendered.
Minister Enoch said the Queensland Government had listened to feedback from stakeholders and the legislative updates would deliver clarity for the sector and trust for the community.
“I have also announced today the establishment of an industry implementation working group, that will allow government and industry to work through the details of implementation,” Ms Enoch said.
“The amendments in the EPOLA Bill are all about providing certainty for business and industry and ongoing benefits for local communities by making sure that there are best practice standards in place for rehabilitation and clear requirements for the management of residual risk,” Ms Enoch said.
Further information about the new Rehabilitation Commissioner role and on rehabilitation outcomes in Queensland can be found at: https://environment.des.qld.gov.au/management/policy-regulation/changes
Media Contact: Debbie Turner 0437 859 987