Progress on reforms
On 15 February 2018, the Honourable Jackie Trad MP, Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, introduced the Mineral and Energy Resources (Financial Provisioning) Bill 2018 (the Bill) into the Queensland Legislative Assembly. In Report No. 6, published on 20 April 2018, the Economic and Governance Committee recommended the Bill be passed.
This marks a milestone in the financial assurance reform process for the resources sector. Once enacted, the Bill will reduce financial risks to the State and achieve improved outcomes for the environment by establishing a financial provisioning scheme for the mineral and energy resources sector and implementing mining rehabilitation reforms.
The financial provisioning scheme will replace the current financial assurance requirements for environmental authorities for resource activities (authorities) and small scale mining tenures (SSMT) under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act). The scheme will manage the financial risk to the State if the holder of an authority or a SSMT does not comply with their environmental management and rehabilitation obligations. The scheme is managed by a scheme manager.
The Bill also introduces new progressive rehabilitation and closure plan requirements for site-specific mining lease environmental authorities through amendments to the EP Act.
More details regarding the Mine Rehabilitation Reforms can be found on the Department of Environment and Science website – https://www.ehp.qld.gov.au/management/env-policy-legislation/mining-rehabilitation-reforms.html.