Today ABC reported that taxpayers are exposed to a shocking $3.2 billion black hole in funding for the future potential environmental clean-up of the state's coal mines.
The government report obtained by the ABC exposes that the bonds or financial assurances held by the State as security in case companies get into financial difficulties are simply inadequate.
This report shows the inadequacy of bonds for coal mines is widespread. We know also from the Qld Nickel refinery example, where a financial assurance was not even required, corporate failure to adequately fund or ensure clean-up activities are undertaken is not confined to coal mines.
Fundamentally, this report demonstrates once again that we need a thorough review of the regulatory framework for responsibility for site rehabilitation and for financial assurances.
EDO Qld public interest environmental lawyers are keen to help find solutions to this problem so those who make the profits bear the responsibility and to ensure our environment is protected. Come to our LawJam on 18 Aug to learn more!
EDO will be running a LawJam on 18 August to discuss the failures of the financial assurance and rehabilitation framework in Queensland and how we can fix it with leading experts Tim Buckley from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, Dr Peter Erskine, University of Queensland and Rick Humphries, Lock that Gate. RSVP here to reserve your place.
For previous EDO work on this issue see here for our submission on the inadequacy of discount criteria for mining rehabilitation obligations; and here for our submission to reform proposals around the financial assurance framework.