The Alpha Coal project test pit in June. The State Government has unveiled its development strategy for the new coal province.
The Alpha Coal project test pit in June. The State Government has unveiled its development strategy for the new coal province. Contributed

Environmentalists complain old mines not fixed up

ENVIRONMENTALISTS say mining companies are dodging their responsibilities when it comes to rehabilitating old mines.

An Environmental Justice Australia report outlines half a dozen things coal mining companies do to "avoid, minimise or delay" fixing the massive holes they leave behind.

EJA spokesman David Barnden said these "tricks" included mothballing mines so they never "officially" closed and running mines at a loss so governments ended up footing rehab bills.

"Coalminers in New South Wales and Queensland are obliged to clean up mines and arrange bank guarantees in case they go bankrupt," he said.

"However, companies take advantage of loopholes to delay cleaning up."

Queensland Resources Council acting chief executive Greg Lane said the industry was aware of its obligations.

"The industry more than recognises the importance of rehabilitation that meets community expectations, and that financial assurance should never be needed to be called in," he said.

"Queensland's environment laws are such that a series of escalating compliance measures would be enforced before financial assurance would even be considered."

The Minerals Council of Australia did not respond to ARM Newsdesk's request for comment.



Story of an Aussie icon comes to life on Gladstone stage

Premium Content Story of an Aussie icon comes to life on Gladstone stage

A National Treasure’s colourful life story has been transformed into a stage...

How clever trailer will help Gladstone towns in disasters

Premium Content How clever trailer will help Gladstone towns in disasters

It might appear to be a regular enclosed box trailer, but the new piece of...

Noise complaint leads to unexpected drug charges

Premium Content Noise complaint leads to unexpected drug charges

When police arrived at a Gladstone home in response to a complaint about loud...