NSW mining rehab council canned

Plans for setting up a mines rehabilitation advisory council have been scrapped by NSW state government.

The office of resources minister Anthony Roberts has said such a council would be an administrative burden and would duplicate the role of existing of an existing committee, Newcastle Herald reported.

Former LNP resources minister Chris Hartcher proposed the idea in 2012 as means to advise on ways to remediate hundreds of derelict mine sites that pose environmental risks, including acid drainage from old workings.

Hartcher said the council would give the public “greater confidence that mining will not leave a legacy for future generations to manage”.

Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said government’s retraction of the plans ‘‘reinforces the public perception that the government is on the side of the big multinational miners at the expense of agriculture and the environment”.

The Greens have called for an independent mining and petroleum authority to oversee developments from the Department of Resources and Energy, obtain information and prosecute non-compliance of mining consent conditions.

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