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Chain of Responsibility working group announced

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Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles announced on Friday the membership of the Chain of Responsibility working group, to assist in developing a statutory guideline to complement the Environmental Protection (Chain of Responsibility) Amendment Act 2016.

The new Chain of Responsibility laws protect the taxpayer and the environment when a major resources company closes its doors without cleaning-up and rehabilitating its site of operations.

“These laws were passed with the unanimous support of the Queensland Parliament. Now we want to work with industry and other stakeholders on the details of how they will be applied,” Dr Miles said.

“The working group will immediately identify the most pressing issues for quick resolution.

“I’m pleased that the Queensland Resources Council, Australian Banker’s Association, Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, and the Queensland Law Society have all accepted my invitation to join the group.

“The statutory guideline will give business and the community confidence that these new powers will be used in a consistent and transparent manner to achieve the best outcomes for Queensland.”

The working group will consist of:

  • Queensland Resources Council
  • Australian Banker’s Association
  • Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association
  • Queensland Law Society
  • Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland
  • Association of Mining and Exploration Companies Inc
  • Queensland Environmental Law Association
  • Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association
  • Environmental Defenders Office

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said he was disappointed the “so-called Chain of Responsibility” working group took so long to be confirmed.

“While we welcome the establishment of the working group to draw up the statutory guideline for the so-called Chain of Responsibility law, it is nonetheless disappointing that it has taken four weeks since the passage of the law through the Queensland Parliament to even confirm the make-up of the working group,” Mr Roche said.

“The breadth of membership of the working group is a testament to the huge business and investor uncertainty generated by the enactment of this new law in the absence of the promised guideline to clarify who will be affected and how.

“As a member of the working group the QRC will be urging all parties to move as quickly as possible to produce a guideline that hopefully settles much of that uncertainty.

“QRC believes however that the government needs to be prepared to make some amendments to the law to provide the necessary certainty. Every day that uncertainty remains is another day where investment in Queensland is at risk.”

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