Lock the Gate Alliance has congratulated the Palaszczuk Government for introducing legislation to establish Australia’s first full-time, independent Rehabilitation Commissioner.
The Environmental Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 was tabled in Parliament earlier today (Thursday June 18).
The Bill gives the Commissioner a clear remit to set a new benchmark for mine rehabilitation in Queensland based on global best practice.
It also allows the Commissioner to play a leading role in educating and empowering affected communities, Traditional Owners and the broader Queensland community to demand the industry leave mined land in a condition that benefits local communities after mining ceases.
“The Palaszczuk Government should be congratulated for committing to and delivering on the creation of this role which will help ensure the intent of the government’s wider mine rehabilitation reforms is achieved and will blaze a trail for the rest of Australia in this area,” said Lock the Gate spokesperson, Rick Humphries.
“There is no doubt the overwhelming majority of Queenslanders that consistently support increased regulation of the mining industry to ensure mine sites are fully rehabilitated will strongly support the creation of a Commissioner.
“The Bill also requires the Commissioner to publicly release an annual report that documents the industry’s rehabilitation performance and trends which is to be applauded. To date there has been no capacity in the system to aggregate data and open up the industry to greater public scrutiny.
“This annual report and the requirement for site-based detailed progressive rehabilitation and closure plans will greatly assist in shining a light on industry performance.
“The creation of a permanent, independent Rehabilitation Commissioner will be seen as a significant and enduring legacy of the Palaszczuk Government."