Hidden beside coal-fired power stations, toxic ash dumps across Australia are threatening the local community’s rivers, lakes, farmland and forests with contamination.
Decades of brown coal mining to power Victoria has left the Latrobe Valley with enormous unstable mine pits and toxic coal ash contaminating the land and groundwater.
As coal mines close, state government must hold mining companies responsible for the cleaning up their mess and ensure communities who live nearby aren’t stuck with the toxic leftovers.
Right now, the Victorian Government is asking for feedback on plans to make sure mining companies can’t dodge their responsibility to properly rehabilitate their mine sites.
This ‘trailing liabilities’ scheme is so important.
This law would give the government the power to direct companies to carry out rehabilitation, even where the company is no longer the current owner of the mine – protecting communities from band aid solutions, and ensuring mines are cleaned up to a higher standard.
Without it, their obligations just aren’t strong enough.
This is an unmissable opportunity to have your say about how coal mining companies must clean up – and clean up properly.
But the Victorian Government needs to hear from all of us and know there is a groundswell of support for holding mining operators to account.
Will you ask the Victorian Government to introduce a robust Trailing Liabilities Scheme that protects communities now and into the future?
Personalised emails are the most impactful. Begin by introducing yourself and why you care about the proper clean-up of Victoria’s mines. We’ve included an example email below as reference.
You might want to include in your email:
- As coal mines close, the community that powered the state for decades deserves to know that coal mines will be cleaned up by the companies who profited from them.
- The law should operate long into the future – because contamination, particularly from coal ash dump can emerge decades after the mine is closed – and cover residual issues. This will stop band aid solutions and provide more incentive for companies to prevent issues emerging in the future.
- Making sure companies can’t escape their responsibilities to leave communities with sustainably rehabilitated land – and prevent ongoing issues now and into the future is a crucial part of a fair transition to renewable energy.
- Appropriate penalties for non-compliance should be introduced through the trailing liabilities scheme
- The law should cover all Victorian mines and quarries – not just the three in the Latrobe Valley.
- Rehabilitation of offshore oil and gas projects should also be covered by a trailing liabilities scheme, that holds gas and oil companies to account.
Read more about Hazelwood, the first Latrobe Valley coal mine awaiting rehabilitation.
Subject line <Submission in response to trailing liabilities for mining licenses – consultation paper>
Dear Director of Policy and Legislation Reform,
As the transition to renewable energy speeds up, the communities who powered our state for decades deserve certainty that mining companies will clean up after themselves.
All too often, mine operators want to be able to get away with doing a little as possible to clean up the mess they’ve made.
That’s why this ‘Trailing Liabilities’ scheme is so important.
This law would ensure companies can’t escape their responsibilities to leave communities with sustainably rehabilitated land – and prevent ongoing issues now and into the future. Even where the company is no longer the current owner of the mine.
The laws should operate long into the future and ensure that mine operators can’t change owners to avoid rehabilitation responsibilities.
Without it, the requirement for companies to clean up their mines just isn’t strong enough.
This will stop band aid solutions and provide more incentive for companies to prevent issues emerging in the future.
I am writing to call on you to ensure all mines and quarries be covered by the scheme, so that all mining companies are responsible for rehabilitating their mines and to introduce a trailing liability scheme for offshore oil and gas projects as well.
Private companies have profited for decades from mining Victoria, it’s only fair that they be held accountable for cleaning up.