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.
This marks a milestone in the financial assurance reform process for the resources sector. Once enacted, the Bill will achieve improved outcomes for the environment and reduce financial risks to the State when an environmental authority holder fails to meet their rehabilitation obligations.
The existing financial assurance requirements for the resources sector in place under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 will be replaced with obligations under the Financial Provisioning Scheme (the Scheme).
Under the Scheme, environmental authority holders with an estimated environmental rehabilitation cost (ERC) of $100,000 or more will be assessed and allocated by the Scheme Manager to either provide a contribution to the Financial Provisioning Fund or to continue to provide surety equivalent to their estimated ERC.
The Bill also introduces new Progressive Rehabilitation and Closure Plan requirements for site-specific mining lease environmental authorities.
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.
Stakeholder consultation on the regulations and guidelines associated with the Bill’s reforms will be undertaken over the second quarter of 2018.