Scot MacDonald MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Planning, Central Coast and the Hunter, NSW Liberal Upper House
In reference to Mr Angus Duddy's call (Land 4/1) for governments to seriously consider environmental bonds for extractive industries, I can confirm the NSW Government requires all miners to lodge bonds prior to commencement of operations.
The state currently holds around $2.3billion in bonds. The Department of Planning advises:
"In NSW, all mining and exploration titleholders are required to lodge a security deposit to fully cover the Government’s estimate of the total cost of rehabilitation of their mine or exploration site before beginning operations.
The rehabilitation security deposit covers the full cost of all rehabilitation and closure activities that may be required to be undertaken by the Government in the unlikely event that a former leaseholder default on their rehabilitation obligations."
In addition NSW Planning has commenced a Rehabilitation Reform Program to improve the methodologies used to calculate and collect security deposits.
Mr Duddy and the community rightly need to have confidence miners in NSW can meet their obligations to rehabilitate as agreed. Fortunately NSW is the nation's leader in calculating and holding appropriate bonds. Mining and agriculture are two of our State's largest export earners and regional employers and this can continue with a sound, transparent policy framework.