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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 319


Senator SIEWERT (Western AustraliaAustralian Greens Whip) (15:42): At the request of Senator Waters, I move:

That the following matter be referred to the Environment and Communications References Committee for inquiry and report by 23 August 2017:

The rehabilitation of mining and resources projects as it relates to Commonwealth responsibilities, for example under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), with regard to:

(a) the cost of outstanding rehabilitation obligations of currently operating projects;

(b) the adequacy of existing regulatory, policy and institutional arrangements to ensure adequate and timely rehabilitation;

(c) the adequacy and transparency of financial mechanisms, including assurances, bonds and funds, to ensure that mining and resources projects are rehabilitated without placing a burden on public finances;

(d) the effectiveness of current Australian rehabilitation practices in safeguarding human health and repairing and avoiding environmental damage;

(e) the effectiveness of existing abandoned mines programs, with regard to repairing environmental damage and safeguarding human health;

(f) whether any mining or resources companies have engaged in conduct designed to avoid fulfilling their rehabilitation obligations;

(g) the potential social, economic and environmental impacts, including on matters of national environmental significance under the EPBC Act, of inadequate rehabilitation;

(h) the potential social, economic and environmental benefits of adequate rehabilitation, including job opportunities in communities affected by job losses in the mining and resources sectors;

(i) international examples of effective rehabilitation policy and practice;

(j) proposals for reform of rehabilitation of mining and resources projects; and

(k) any other related matters.