Make Coal Giants Pay for Mine Clean-Up
Our new report – Abandoned Mines in Queensland: Toxic Time-bomb or Employment Opportunity? – calls for big mining companies to cover the cost of rehabilitating the State’s abandoned mines and estimates that this would generate 6000 jobs in regional Queensland!
There are too many large abandoned mines, and the full cost of cleaning them up is too large and should not fall on taxpayers. If mines are levied to pay for the clean up, they can also create jobs in the process.
Why should we miss out on hundreds of schools and hospitals because we’re footing the bill for the mess left behind by irresponsible mining companies?
- Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry Report (pdf)
- ACF Mine Rehab Stories
- Abandoned Mines in Queensland Report
- NSW Coal Pit Legacy
- Mine Rehab Closure Cost Report
- Rhetoric Vs Reality. Rehab performance snapshot
We call on the NSW and Queensland Premiers to strengthen weak mining laws and force companies to honour their obligations to rehabilitate their mines. The following needs to be done:
- Increase the required deposit to cover rehabilitation costs
- Require all future mines to backfill their mining pits and protect water resources
- Establish an independent authority to monitor and enforce mine rehabilitation
- Penalise companies who breach rehabilitation requirements.
Together we can ensure that the mining industry is held to account and that our land and water resources are protected against abandoned mines.
Will you take a stand?
The NSW Planning Assessment Commission has handed in its latest report on Rio's plan to expand the Warkworth coal mine, and it's a disaster. Even though Bulga residents have twice proven in court that expanding the mine would do more harm than good - not just for their community, but for all NSW - the PAC has recommended it be approved. The Commission ignored a mountain of evidence that Rio's coal mine would make Bulga unliveable, ruin an irreplaceable bushland ecosystem, and desecrate the cultural heritage of the Wonnarua people. They ignored expert advice that the economics of the project don't stack up. They listened to Rio Tinto, and they ignored everyone else.Sign up
It's almost certain now that Rio will get their mine approval. Without a dramatic intervention in the approval process, the rest is mere formality. The Planning Department will issue another report recommending approval, and then the PAC will close the deal. It's likely to happen by Christmas.
But we've been fighting this coal mine for over five years, and we're not about to give up now. The courts delivered us justice in 2013, but our state's unfair mine approval regime is set to take it away again. NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes still has the power to intervene and save Bulga, and we're demanding that he do just that.
Will you join us? Some time in the next couple of weeks, the NSW Planning Department will again recommend approval for Rio. We want to use that opportunity to show Minister Stokes that the people of NSW want justice for Bulga, not more coal. We'll be taking action outside the Supreme Court, Phillip St, Sydney - where we won our case - the morning after the Department's report is released. We need our Sydney supporters to be standing there with us.
Sign up below with your mobile number and we'll text you the details of our protest as soon as the Department issues its report. We'll see you the next morning outside the NSW Supreme Court.