The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) has released a consultation paper on proposed environmentally focused amendments to the Mining Act 1981, Mining Rehabilitation Fund Act 2012 and their associated regulations. The proposed amendments are flagged as the first of three stages of reform on the back of DMP’s Reforming Environmental Regulation program, which aims to integrate a risk-based approach and incorporate the principles of best practice environmental regulation into DMP regulatory functions.

The following areas are the target of the first stage of reform:

  • Enabling the recovery of expenditure from the Mining Rehabilitation Fund for rehabilitation of abandoned mine sites in certain circumstances
  • Inserting infringement notice provisions under the Mining Rehabilitation Fund Regulations
  • Streamlining the Mining Rehabilitation Fund assessment notice process
  • Streamlining DMPs authorisation processes for Mining Proposals, Mine Closure Plans and Programmes of Work
  • Increasing the public availability of environmental approvals, environmental reporting and other information/data

Submissions on the consultation paper are open until 27 September 2013. The consultation paper can be accessed here.