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Review of Extractive Industry Rehabilitation and Rehabilitation Policy and Bonds in Victoria

The CMPA supports responsible, balanced legislation and community engagement that is in the best interests of the State and acknowledges Victoria’s Aboriginal communities and cultural heritage.  

The CMPA is concerned that the Victorian Government is taking an unnecessarily conservative approach to rehabilitation bonds for the extractive industry when there is no evidence of need. Hence CMPA is undertaking a project to review the Extractive Industry Rehabilitation and Rehabilitation Policy and Bonds in Victoria.

Project objectives

The project objective is to produce a Report on the Review of Extractive Industry Rehabilitation; and Rehabilitation Policy and Bonds which qualitatively and quantitively assesses:

  • Their impact on the immediate viability and longer-term sustainability of the extractive industry in Victoria; and
  • The risk profile of the extractive industry and provide recommendations on how the Rehabilitation and Bonds policy can be amended to reflect the risk profile.

Target audience

Construction materials industry, governments (Ministers, Councilors, and public servants) and community.

Specific goals

  1. Review briefing documentation and hold meetings with relevant people
  1. Prepare a history of rehabilitation of quarries in Victoria using relevant material including that provided, that includes:
  • An estimation of the number of rehabilitated extractive industry sites and mining sites in Victoria.
  • Estimate the approximate number of unrehabilitated extractive industry sites and mining sites in Victoria.
  • Summarise the history of risks associated with the extractive industry rehabilitation and compare with mines.
  • Review rehabilitation bond policies for extractive industry in other jurisdictions in Australia and highlight best practice that can be adopted in Victoria.
  • The end land use. This should consider what the landowner can seek or agree to have retained on their site (i.e. hardstands)
  • Determine, where possible, the costs associated with rehabilitation undertaken by the Victorian Government over the last 25 years in the extractive industry and compare with the mining industry.
  1. Explain the differences under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 between extractive industry and mining industry: including but not limited to:
  2. Right of entry – i.e. In that the extractive industry, generally a commercial lease is entered into with the landowner.
  3. Ownership of resources
  4. Geological risk of fire
  1. Review the rehabilitation bond calculator for:
  • Excessive and unnecessary requirements based on the lower and different risk profile of the extractive industry.
  • Ability to respond to site-specific end use, land owner requirements, and air-space.
  • Consider if a centrally held management fee would work.
  1. Provision of a legal opinion as to the exposure (contingent liability) to the State of Victoria (requirement for rehabilitation of extractive industry sites to be undertaken by Government).

EHS Support is uniquely qualified to complete this work assignment having already completed major studies and reviews of financial assurance (bonding) and reporting for the mining, energy, and other extractive industries. EHS Support has completed financial assurance estimates and studies in SA, NT, QLD and NSW and has developed guidance and calculators for the Queensland Government. EHS Support has accredited Auditors who regularly verify financial assurance estimates for landfills in Victoria. They have also completed numerous advocacy assignments for Industry including the Queensland Resources Council, APPEA and the Mining Club associated with, rehabilitation requirements, offsets, financial assurance, and taxation.

The Project is expected to be completed by 25 November 2021 with a presentation to Members at a General Meeting in Bendigo (COVID-19 restrictions permitting).

Dr Elizabeth Gibson will manage the project and any comments or if you would like to be involved in the CMPA Rehabilitation Project please contact EHS Support will be seeking written responses and/or interviews with members who would like to contribute. Examples of questions to be considered are:

  1. What do you see as the main issues associated with the rehabilitation regulation and bonding system in Victoria with respect to quarrying?
  2. What specific aspects of the rehabilitation regulation and bonding system impact your business?
  3. Have any of your operations undergone a bond review under the new system and if so, are you able to supply the details?
  4. Are you able to supply any specific correspondence with the regulators including calculations and determination of bonds for past and current projects?
  5. What specific aspects of the rehabilitation regulation and bonding system would you like to see changed and do you have ideas on how they should change?