21/10/2009 - 16:34

Freeze extended on environmental bonds

21/10/2009 - 16:34

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Environmental bonds for the state's mining industry will remain unchanged until the end of next year, as the government extends the existing moratorium to help miners weather the global economic crises.

Environmental bonds for the state's mining industry will remain unchanged until the end of next year, as the government extends the existing moratorium to help miners weather the global economic crises.

 

The announcement is below:

 

The State Government will extend an existing moratorium on a rate rise for environmental bonds for the Western Australian mining industry.

The moratorium's extension will see standard environmental bond rates remain unchanged until the end of 2010 to help the resource sector weather the global economic crisis.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore said extending the moratorium on the bond increase was a responsible policy decision given economic recovery was still under way.

"The State Government continues to monitor the economic climate and while there are increasing signs of recovery there is a need to foster this recovery rather than introduce additional cost pressures at this time," Mr Moore said.

Environment bonds were first introduced to the State's mining sector in the late 1980s as added assurance against companies failing to adequately rehabilitate mine sites.

The Liberal-National Government put the initial moratorium in place shortly after last year's election to help mining companies ride out the economic downturn. The existing moratorium was due to expire in December 2009.

The Minister said it was unlikely that environmental bond rates would remain at their current levels and that the State Government planned to look at tougher rules to ensure industry met its obligations to rehabilitate mine sites.

"We want to encourage responsible resources development in WA. Increased environmental bonds will be a part of future requirements for the mining sector," he said.

"However, we cannot entirely rely on bonds to deliver good environmental outcomes and that is why I have asked the Department for Mines and Petroleum (DMP) to consider what other powers need enforcing to complement a rise in environmental bonds rates.

"DMP will liaise with industry representatives and other stakeholders over the next 14 months to ensure that future arrangements achieve good environmental outcomes without unnecessarily constraining development in the mining industry."

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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