Latrobe Valley mines set for rehabilitation

The Victorian Government plans to improve the management of coal mine land in the Latrobe Valley once production ceases.

Resources Minister Jaala Pulford said announced enhanced provisions will be applied to Victoria’s declared mines, making rehabilitation a priority.

The provisions will allow for better preparations for land rehabilitation with future generations in mind as Victoria transitions away from coal-fired energy.

Under State legislation mine rehabilitation and post-closure arrangements are operator-led and funded; these new provisions will strengthen the requirements for operators to deliver on their obligations.

The Government will amend Victoria’s Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 to ensure rehabilitation liabilities of declared mines remain the responsibility of the mining industry, in line with similar provisions passed by the Commonwealth Government for decommissioning offshore infrastructure.

A trailing liability regime will also allow the state’s mining monitors to issue remedial directions to former title holders for any required future works. As with the Commonweath scheme, the intent is for this legislation to be backdated to the day of announcement.

A consultation paper on the provisions will be available later this year, allowing the community, mining industry, relevant agencies and other interested parties to have their say.

The Government will also shortly release its Draft Declared Mine Regulations for public comment. They aim to set clear standards for the rehabilitation plans being developed for the Latrobe Valley’s three coal mines and ensure mine operators know their responsibilities.

Rehabilitation Bonds for the state’s declared mines will also be reassessed later this year in line with the recommendations of the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry.

“Provisions need to be in place for the long term when it comes to the management of the land where large-scale mining has taken place,” Pulford said.

“This will provide Victoria with the contemporary tools required to ensure rehabilitation remains the responsibility of the coal mine operators.”

About Ray Chan

Editor of industrial titles and mastheads with Prime Creative Media. Publications include Rail Express and Australian Mining (web content).

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