By Daniel Tweedale, Nadia Czachor and Ian Wright
In 2016 the Queensland Government commissioned the Queensland Treasury Corporation to carry out a review of the financial assurance framework for the resources sector. The findings of that review were published in the Review of Queensland Financial Assurance Framework
Mineral and Energy Resources (Financial Provisioning) Bill 2018
The purpose of the Bill is to:
- reform the existing financial assurance provisions for resource activities; and
- introduce new rehabilitation and closure plan requirements for mining leases and related environmental authorities.
Financial assurance reforms
The Bill proposes to establish a new financial provisioning scheme to deal with the environmental impacts of resource activities. The financial provisioning scheme proposes to include a scheme fund, surety arrangement and the appointment of a scheme manager who would be responsible for managing the scheme fund and cash surety account, entering into arrangements with resource companies, categorising and allocating risk, and conducting annual reviews.
Rehabilitation and closure plan reforms
The Bill also proposes to amend the Environmental Protection Act 1994
to require all applications for an Environmental Authority to provide progressive rehabilitation and closure plans. The plans must demonstrate how and where environmentally relevant activities will be carried out on the land in a way that maximises the progressive rehabilitation of the land to a stable condition and provide for the condition to which the land must be rehabilitated before it can be surrendered.
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