Trailing Liabilities for mining licensees (Declared Mines)

We are seeking your feedback to help shape a trailing liabilities scheme for Victoria’s coal mines as the state transitions away from coal-fired energy and prepares for the rehabilitation of the Latrobe Valley sites.

The proposed trailing liability provisions will strengthen the requirements for operators to deliver their rehabilitation obligations. It is intended that the provisions will apply to Victoria’s declared mines, which are the three Latrobe Valley coal mines. The proposed changes will ensure Victoria has a fit-for-purpose legislative framework, allowing the Victorian Government to respond to the challenges of rehabilitating former mine sites.

This is a significant time in Victoria’s coal mining industry, where current market conditions are placing financial and strategic pressures on large organisations that own, direct or influence business operations. The trailing liability provisions will ensure mine sites are rehabilitated for a sustainable future.

The benefits of the proposed system

Under Victorian legislation, mine rehabilitation and post-closure arrangements are operator-led and funded.

The trailing liability provisions create a last-resort option that will allow the Victorian Government to ‘call back’ a former title holder or other related party, to complete rehabilitation. The provisions will apply to a title holder or related party who ceased to hold that authority on or after 5 May 2022, when the Victorian Government announced its intention to introduce this change.

The provisions will ensure title holders rehabilitate the sites they mine. Similar provisions were passed by the Commonwealth Government last year for decommissioning offshore gas infrastructure, following extensive policy research.

These provisions ensure the Victorian Government has the mechanisms required to call on relevant title holders under the scheme. These would only be used if existing mechanisms were unsuccessful in achieving rehabilitation outcomes.

Providing feedback

It is vital Victoria’s mining laws effectively govern today’s industry activity. This project aims to receive feedback on the design, operation and implementation of such changes to enable this regime to work and minimise the chance of unforeseen consequences.

It is vital we get this legislative design right so that our laws work effectively and also echo today’s economic reality.

We want to understand:

  • Your views on the scope of the scheme
  • How it should function and operate logistically
  • How it could be improved to suit Victoria’s unique resources industry.

Making a submission

Step 1. Review the consultation paper

Download the draft content for the proposed trailing liability provisions:

Step 2. Submit your response

Feedback can be submitted via the online survey or written submissions can be submitted via email or post.

Complete the online survey

The feedback period closes at 5:00pm 28 February 2023.

Alternative contact methods

Email

Send your feedback to erppconsultation@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Post

Trailing Liabilities – Public Consultation
Director, Policy and Legislation
Earth Resources Policy and Programs
Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action
GPO Box 4509
Melbourne VIC 3001

Privacy Collection Notice

The Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action is committed to protecting personal information provided by you, such as your name and email addresses. You may request to make a confidential submission and DEECA will remove your name from the submission process.

DEECA values your personal information and protects your privacy in compliance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and any other applicable laws.

The purpose of DEECA collecting your submitted personal information is to administer the public consultation on the Victorian Government’s introduction of legislation to amend the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990, that proposes a trailing liability scheme for the rehabilitation of declared mines.

The information provided in your submission will be collected by DEECA and provided to the Minister for Energy and Resources for consideration before making the proposed changes.

If you requested anonymity DEECA will not use your name. All other personal information is to be removed from your submission.

DEECA may do the following with your submission:

  • publish a copy of your redacted submission on the DEECA website, or other Victorian Government website, for transparency and accountability. Victorian Government websites are accessible worldwide and allow any person to view your submission.
  • quote directly from your submission in documentation.
  • make your submission available to other Victorian Government agencies.

You can request access to, and the corrections of, any personal information provided in this form. Requests for access, or correction should be sent to erppconsultation@ecodev.vic.gov.au or for other concerns regarding the privacy of your personal information you can email Privacy Unit at privacy@ecodev.vic.gov.au. For more information, refer to our privacy statement .

Page last updated: 24 Jan 2023