Breathing New Life Into Old Mines

07 August 2018

The Andrews Labor Government is establishing a new Authority to manage mine closure and rehabilitation across Victoria, providing communities with greater certainty.

Minister for Resources Tim Pallas introduced a Bill to Victorian Parliament today to amend the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 to create a Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority.

The Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry found the legislative requirements for mine rehabilitation and post-closure land management were unclear, leaving communities at risk and exposing the taxpayer to rehabilitation liability.

The Labor Government has acted, setting Rehabilitation Bonds for the Latrobe Valley mines at 100 per cent of independently assessed liability and a 17-year minimum guarantee for mine rehabilitation.

The Bill responds to the Inquiry’s recommendations by:

  • marking out the rehabilitation, closure and post-closure requirements for certain mines
  • establishing clear responsibility for the post-closure management of rehabilitated mine land
  • establishing a Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority to oversee mine rehabilitation and post-closure management, including administration of post-closure funds from 1 July 2020.

The Bill ensures relevant provisions can be applied to any mine across the State that poses ongoing risks to public safety, the environment or infrastructure.

The new Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority will ensure community expectations regarding mine rehabilitation are met, and that mine operators and land owners fulfil their obligations.

It will succeed the Latrobe Valley Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner from 1 July 2020, assume the Commissioner’s current roles and functions, and be based at the Latrobe Valley’s new GovHub – creating jobs in rehabilitation close to one of the state’s most impacted communities.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Resources Tim Pallas

“The creation of the Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority continues our implementation of the recommendations of the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry, which the Coalition Government abandoned.”

“This Bill and the Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority will protect communities now and in to the future and provide a positive legacy for former mine land.”

Quote attributable to Latrobe Valley Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner Professor Rae Mackay

“Transitioning to a new authority based at the GovHub is another positive step forward to enshrining safe, stable and sustainable rehabilitation and mine land management by people working in the most impacted community.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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