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New environmental bill meets urgent need to prevent pollution

The Lock the Gate Alliance today congratulated Environment Minister, Dr Steven Miles, for moving quickly to plug a significant loophole in Queensland environmental law.

The Bill, the Environmental Protection (chain of responsibility) Amendment Bill, is being introduced to deal with issues such as the future of Clive Palmer's Yabulu nickel refinery and the abandoned silver mine at Texas.

Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, said his organisation had been trying to highlight this problem for some time.

"For decades mining companies have walked away from mines, without doing any or adequate rehabilitation of the site, leaving the cost of cleaning up that site to the taxpayer," Mr Hutton said.

"This situation is likely to become much worse in the next couple of years with bankruptcy looming for both big and small players in the coal business.

"This legislation will go a long way toward dealing with that problem and with some of the regulatory enforcement problems the Environment Department has faced.

"However, the Department of Environment and Heritage needs to be much better funded in order to carry out these new functions properly," Mr Hutton said.

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