Claims govt leaves towns with bill for mine clean up

THE Queensland Government has dismissed Greens claims mining towns are being left with the bill to rehabilitate old mines.

Greens Senator Larissa Waters on Thursday said the government had reduced the money mining companies had to pay to rehabilitate mines.

"Queensland Labor is letting big mining companies get away without cleaning up their own mess and leaving regional communities to deal with it instead," she said.

"The Palaszczuk Government is letting big mining companies, especially thermal coal companies, get away with packing up and leaving workers, taxpayers and the environment in the lurch."

But an Environment Department spokesperson said the changes to GST paid did not change miners' responsibilities in rehabilitating old mines.

"The Queensland Government has not reduced the amount of financial assurance held to carry out rehabilitation activities," the spokesperson said.

"Previous FA calculations included GST on the basis that, when claiming FA, the State would remit the GST to the Australian Taxation Office. The state now has an ATO private ruling which no longer requires GST to be remitted. As a result, the State Government will no longer include GST in FA calculations.

"Environmental Authority holders must still provide the full amount of FA to cover their calculated rehabilitation liability.

"Financial assurance is held as a security to ensure operators comply with strict rehabilitation obligations and provides the government with ready access to funds should the operator default on its responsibilities."

- APN NEWSDESK


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