MCG Supports Mining Jobs

2010_0410063.jpgMackay Conservation Group supports a Queensland mining project worth at least $7.3 billion that has been approved by the state government and the mining companies involved have already committed to. Sound a bit weird? It’s not really, the project is mine rehabilitation. 

The Queensland government currently holds over $7 billion in Financial Assurance to fund the clean-up of mines if mining companies fail. We estimate that that level of funding would easily create 2,000 direct jobs for ten years and many could commence today if rehabilitation was undertaken progressively rather than waiting until mining is completed. The reality is however that mining companies have been delaying mine rehabilitation and, in some cases, have no plan to rehabilitate land at all.

Across Queensland there are 220,000 hectares disturbed by mining operations but only 556 hectares that have been fully rehabilitated. Today, only one twelfth of mined land has had some rehabilitation work done. In 2006 that figure was one third.

The Queensland Government has recently issued two discussion papers on mine rehabilitation. They are the first of six papers that will be released for public comment in coming months. Mackay Conservation Group and Lock the Gate have been working on reforming the mine rehabilitation sector since 2015. We have raised questions about the extent and quality of rehabilitation in public and in private discussions with government, academics and the mining industry. The papers look at the method of funding bonds paid by mining companies and the way that rehabilitation is planned.

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