Progress on reforms
In response to the findings of the Government’s review of Queensland’s financial assurance framework. The Queensland Government is working to ensure that reform of the current financial assurance and rehabilitation arrangements for the resource sector protects the State’s finances while achieving the best balance between a viable resources sector and the environment. The reform package proposes to deliver:
- a higher level of environmental performance
- rehabilitation investment in the State’s resources industry
- better protection of the State’s financial interests.
The Mineral and Energy Resources (Financial Provisioning) Act 2018 (the Act) commenced on 1 April 2019. The Act replaces previous financial assurance requirements under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act) with the Financial Provisioning Scheme (the Scheme).
The Scheme will reduce the financial risk to Government in the event a holder of a resource authority or small scale mining tenure (holder) fails to meet their environmental and rehabilitation obligations. Over time, abandoned mines will be rehabilitated and rehabilitation techniques will be improved through grants provided from the Scheme’s Financial Provisioning Fund.
The Act also amended the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act) to require mining companies to develop Progressive Rehabilitation and Closure Plans. Those reforms commenced in November 2019 and help achieve the first major milestone of the Government’s broad reforms to improve rehabilitation of mined land on a progressive basis, rather than at the end of a mine’s life.
While this milestone has been met, further reforms are still occurring and these initiatives are outlined below.