Following a leaked report estimating the Queensland Government has failed to collect billions of dollars from coal mining companies for rehabilitation, the Greens will seek support for a federal Senate Inquiry into the issue.
Qld Senator Larissa Waters, Greens Deputy Leader, said:
"Across the country, state governments are failing to collect adequate rehabilitation bonds from big mining companies and we need to look into this before taxpayers are left to cover the billions in costs.
"With the support of Labor and four crossbenchers, we could establish a Senate Inquiry into how the federal government could protect taxpayers from footing the bill for the damage to our land, water and communities inflicted by big mining companies.
"Coal companies should be made to clean up their own mess, instead of being allowed to get away with short-changing taxpayers.
"We Greens have put forward a costed plan to make sure mining companies pay upfront for the cost of rehabilitating their sites.
"By collecting adequate rehabilitation funds upfront, we can provide local jobs in rehabilitation, as soon as coal mines close down due to global trends.
"We can also put a stop to the current trend of big mining companies shirking their responsibilities by selling unprofitable mines for as little as $1 to small companies that can't cover rehabilitation costs.
"As the world turns away from coal, we need to put a transition plan in place to help workers who are already losing their jobs, with training and new jobs in areas like rehabilitation and clean energy construction," Senator Waters said.
The Greens plan for mining rehabilitation: http://greens.org.au/mining-rehab