26 May How your organisation can benefit from government incentives now May 26, 2020 By AMPLA Admin General, Industry, Resources and Energy government, industry, resources 0 Eager to support business and protect jobs, governments at all levels have introduced measures and benefits for businesses. While there are many general benefits, like JobKeeper, that have been offered to many businesses, state governments are now offering opportunities to benefit specific industries and sectors including energy and resources. In Queensland, the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy are encouraging development in the sector by opening or re-opening the tender process for several exploration programs. Some explorations projects were halted earlier in the year as they were considered a non-essential service, but the state is keen to get them moving again. These include: Two coal exploration areas in the Bowen Basin that are open for tender until 25 June 2020; and 12 petroleum and gas exploration areas across the Bowen and Surat Basins that are now open for tender until 9 July 2020. The tenders still require the successful applicants to comply with land access and native title requirements and obtain necessary approvals before commencing exploration. Queensland has also announced further measures to encourage existing exploration projects to progress. This includes: waiving exploration land rent for 12 months freezing fees and charges until 1 July 2021 bringing forward $2.8m funding for innovative exploration grants in the North West Minerals Province With similar sentiment, the NSW government has announced that it will fast-track the approval of 24 projects to encourage employment and development. While many of the projects involve construction and recyclable waste, opportunities for the energy sector include: $4.6b for Snowy 2.0 that will provide large-scale energy storage and quick-start electricity generation; and $285m to TransGrid to enable safe, reliable and affordable electricity supply in Sydney. The government is fast-tracking the assessment, development applications and any rezoning within four weeks so the projects can commence within the next six months. The intention is to announce additional tranches of infrastructure projects in the coming weeks and months to kickstart broad-scale economic activity. Western Australia (WA) has also focused on infrastructure projects by updating its Market-led Proposals Policy. The policy provides an avenue for the private sector to make unsolicited proposals to government for infrastructure projects, to provide goods or services or to purchase a government-owned asset. The update is aimed at ensuring that projects are closely aligned to the government’s priorities to stimulate the state’s economy and create jobs in the long-term. The policy has also now introduced a First Mover Advantage. If a proposal is unique and meets the requirements of the First Mover Advantage proponents can match a competitive bid or receive a bid premium. This offers significant opportunities for large and innovative proposals to be put before the government. The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) in WA is also simplifying administrative procedures by expanding electronic approaches for tenement applications and other approvals. This reduces or eliminates the need to lodge physical documents and provide wet signatures. The process makes it easier to continue to operate businesses during these times. Export opportunities for mining equipment, technology and services (METS) in regional Victoria and Western Australia are also set to increase with the establishment of the Victorian METS Export Hub and Digital Mining Export Hub in WA. Established by Austmine and funded by grants from the Federal Government’s Department of Industry, Science and Technology and Victoria’s Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, the Victorian hub will offer support for METS businesses to develop export capabilities and connect with global customers. The businesses most likely to benefit are those involved in mining innovations including advanced manufacturing, underground mine development, minerals processing, mine rehabilitation and remediation. In WA, the initiative is partially funded by the State’s Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation and will focus on building digital mining capability network. These initiatives are part of the first wave of opportunities that are being offered to encourage the sector to continue to grow during the COVID-19 pandemic. How they perform and how the global and local economy recovers will dictate what further opportunities may be made available in the short and long-term. Related Articles Submission - DISER Consultation Paper December 2020 ‘Enhancing Australia’s decommissioning framework for offshore oil and gas activities’ COMMUNITY LEGAL RIGHTS IN MINE CLOSURE PLANNING; A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THREE AUSTRALIAN STATES Professor Alex Gardner, University of Western Australia Law School, and Laura Hamblin, formerly research associate at the UWA Law School, 2021 Why does the Mining Act 1978 (WA) not provide secure legal rights for community consultation in relation to mining lease proposals and mine closure plans? Addressing this question presents an important theme for this comparative review of some core features of the regulatory frameworks for mine closure in three Australian States. It also raises important questions for future legal research. Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria have prominent but vastly different, and thus uniquely significant, mining industries. Western Australia’s mining industry has a long history of large and smaller scale mining of a diverse range of minerals by various methods that pose significant mine rehabilitation challenges.[i] Queensland’s mining industry is similarly large and diverse, dominated by export coal production, and planning future minerals development in a decarbonising world.[ii] Victoria has a smaller mining industry with a large historical legacy dominated by a coal mining industry for domestic electricity generation in the Latrobe Valley, which is closing as the State actively transitions to renewable power sources.[iii] These States also have significant differences in the regulation of their mining industries. What all three States do have in common is the significance of their mining industries to both the State economy and the communities who depend on or live near mining operations. Importantly, all three States are confronting large legal and regulatory challenges in managing mine rehabilitation and closure. The key to addressing these challenges is effective mine closure planning: the closure of a mine site has ripple effects that are not merely environmental and economic, but social and cultural too. The initial approval of a mine closure plan occurs before any mining has begun and, with the life cycle of a mine often spanning decades, regulatory bodies are approving hypothetical closure scenarios, potentially subject to vast changes. Regulatory bodies may then seek to enforce closure requirements enshrined in a plan that may wane in relevance as mining operations progress, the updating of which may depend on the miner. Yet remedying the regulatory system so that it creates adaptable but consistently effective mine closure outcomes for affected communities still begins at planning. Although that planning is an iterative process across the life of the mine, it is very important at the initial stage of approval. Recent legislative reforms in all three States are adding to the regulatory rigour and adaptability of mine closure planning, though there are very different legal requirements for community consultation. This article aims to explain and assess the regulatory reforms by undertaking a comparative analysis of mine closure planning across Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria, with a focus on the initial approval stage and how stakeholders and communities are brought into that process. The facilitation of continuous and comprehensive community engagement is critical to ensuring that mine closure planning accounts for environmental, economic, social, cultural and safety outcomes after mine closure, but it has not been possible to consider here the process of ongoing mine closure planning, especially for amending mine closure plans and determining satisfaction of mine closure plans leading to resource tenure relinquishment.[iv] The article begins by considering core concepts of mine closure planning and the regulatory goals that inform it. It then provides a comparative overview of each State’s mine closure planning requirements under the mineral resources, environmental and land use planning laws and draws out some of the different regulatory structures and processes for mine closure within each State. The third step in our analysis compares the ways in which those laws provide for local communities’ participation in mine closure planning, with specific attention to whether the regulatory provisions create legally enforceable rights for effective community engagement. The article concludes with a summary of the key points from the discussion of three themes in our analysis: (i) the importance of clear definitions of core concepts and key goals, (ii) mine closure planning as an essential part of a mining proposal, and (iii) the legal definition of community engagement and consultation rights. Mine closure planning and implementation is necessarily influenced by many other spheres of law including taxation law, investment law, water law, and the rights of traditional owners, to name a few. A potentially directly relevant Commonwealth law is the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth), which may require environmental impact assessment of a mining proposal and closure plan and lead to approval conditions supplementing State requirements.[v] Whilst acknowledging the importance of these adjacent spheres of the regulatory frameworks for effective mine closure planning, this article does not attempt to address their impact. In particular, the rights of Traditional Custodians are a crucial part of mine closure planning that are only briefly noted here and that would benefit from future research. WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, Major Commodities Review 2022-23”. Qld Government, Department of Resources, Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan, June 022. Vic Government, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy. See L Hamblin, A Gardner, Y Haigh, Mapping the Regulatory Framework of Mine Closure, May 2022, CRC TiME, for a broader exploration of the full life cycle of mine closure regulation. In Buzzacott v Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities  FCAFC 111; (2013) 214 FCR 301, , -, referring to the range of approval conditions, which included mine closure. In setting conditions under the EPBC Act, the Commonwealth Minister must consider any relevant conditions under State or Territory law: at  citing Lansen v Minister for Environment and Heritage (2008) 174 FCR 14. FORREST AND FORREST PTY LTD AND MINISTER FOR ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS  WASAT 28 Western Australia’s State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) has rejected a review, by Forrest & Forrest Pty Ltd, against the refusal of consent to impact an Aboriginal site in constructing weirs across the Ashburton River. A unanimous three-member panel published its decision in April 2023. SAT’s decision and reasoning has direct significance and use for anyone involved in processes for a s 18 consent under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 and broader relevance for the law around protection of Aboriginal heritage in Western Australia. With the WA Government announcing the reversal of recent statutory changes and a return to the 1972 legislation, SAT’s decision has increased relevance. What to expect from the new Australian government? In May, the Australian Labor Party (ALP) achieved a majority government while the Greens and independents hold the balance of power in the Senate. This signals a new era for Australia, with voters clearly putting climate change high on the agenda for the next three years. What to expect from Brazil’s new government On October 30, Brazil elected Luis Inaclo Lula da Silva (Lula) to be its new President. Lula will take over from President Jair Bolsonaro on 1 January 2023. During his campaign, Lula hinted at some reforms that would potentially impact the energy and mining sector, particularly in relation to his environmental and climate agenda. Submission - Consultation on the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (Titles Administration and Other Measures) Bill 2021 Showing 0 Comment Comments are closed.