MPI report confirms what Greens have been saying for decades

Friday, 16 June

WA Greens Mining spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC said comments made this week by the Australian Conservation Foundation on the potential “toxic legacy” of failing to properly rehabilitate mine sites were particularly relevant for WA.

“Western Australia already has a terrible legacy of more than 18,000 abandoned mine sites – that’s more than 35 per cent of all abandoned mines in Australia,” Mr Chapple said.

 “Mineral Policy Institute’s new report has found that most of these mine closures are unplanned and a result of economic and market forces - it’s something I’ve been talking about since first coming into office in 2001.

“Whilst the state government’s Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) has the potential to be an effective measure to deal with the issue of abandoned mine sites, this system must be in tandem with a bond system over active mine projects.

“Recently, the Victorian government announced a plan to increase the environmental bonds over high-risk La Trobe valley coal projects to 100% of estimated rehabilitation cost over the next 18 months.

“Western Australia has done the exact opposite, retiring over a $1 billion worth of bonds in favour of a one per cent levy that has accumulated just $57 million to date.

“We need a stronger bond system reinstated to accurately reflect the high risk nature of mineral extraction in today’s volatile economic climate, particularly in the fossil fuel industry, and we need to increase the MRF levy to fix the massive problem we already have

“This is not a new problem for our state, but it has been on the backburner for way too long.”

A link to the Mineral Policy Institute Report can be found below.

For comment please contact Tim Oliver on 0431 9696 25 or 9486 8255.

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