Chain of Responsibility with Melanie Findlay


Below is a transcript of Melanie Findlay’s interview with Aaron Steven of 990 4RO from May 2016.

Melanie:

Yeah so over the last few weeks there has been a fair bit of flurrying around Parliament lately, so we have had a bit of a knee jerk reaction I guess to some coal mines and resource companies going broke, or there is a fear that they are going broke and we are probably going to be left as tax payers with the cleanup bill.

So we have had Parliament introduce the Chain of Responsibility Bill and that has now been passed.

4RO:

Probably no surprise about exactly what situation has sparked this?

Melanie:

Oh, there is a couple of rumours circulating about some certain mines near Townsville.

4RO:

There you go. So what is the Chain of Responsibility Bill?

Melanie:

So what that Bill intends to do is if a company does go insolvent and there are some issues in regards to cleaning up, it will allow the Environmental

Department of the Government to issue notices to holding companies or related persons in regards to the mine. So it means that a company cannot just walk away and say “Hi, we are only paying one cent and a dollar and we don’t have any money to clean up the mess we made”.

There were some problems though; the drafting was very wide, probably because it was a bit of a knee jerk piece of legislation. So it was rushed through with little consultation but we have done some heavy lobbying.

Because related persons unfortunately caught the landowner who owned the land underneath the mine, so the way the Bill was drafted was that the Government could come to you and say “Hi, even though you objected to the coal mine that was going to be put on your land, we would like you to now clean it up”, and that is obviously undesirable.

4RO:

Absolutely.

Melanie:

Yep, so that has been fixed. It was a last minute change and the Act has now been passed.

The funny thing in the Act I guess though is the Government is just going to test how it goes because there is a two year period where they are going to review and see if the legislation is performing the aims that it is supposed to.

4RO:

Alright, well thank you very much for that information. If someone wanted to contact you, maybe they have a question about it, how do we do that?

Melanie:

If you have any questions about mining or gas matters and you are a landowner, my number is 4927 6333 or the website address is www.reesjones.com.au.

4RO:

Always a pleasure, thanks for your time.

Melanie:

Thank you.

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