Wednesday, April 24, 2024

NT introduces environmental reforms for mining sector

The Northern Territory Government has today introduced reforms to improve the Territory’s environmental management of mining activities and provide greater certainty for industry, following public consultation on the draft legislation.

The new Environmental Protection Legislation Amendment (Mining) Bill 2023 reforms will implement a modern, streamlined and effective system to support the ecologically sustainable development of the mining industry in the Territory. 

“The new legislative framework is set to implement a modern, streamlined and effective system to support the ecologically sustainable development of the mining industry in the Territory,” said Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Security, Lauren Moss.

“It will also increase transparency and accountability of the regulator and mining operators, delivering stronger environmental outcomes in the regulation of mining activities.

“These proposed reforms are critical to ensure we have a robust regulatory system in place for the sustainable development of our mineral resources, thereby protecting the Territory’s unique environment.”

This Bill introduces a new, best practice legislative framework for managing the environmental impacts of mining based on the risk of the activity to the environment, with a contemporary outcome-focused approach to regulation.

The Mining Bill introduces:
– a new 3-tier risk-based licencing system to manage mining activities;
– extends existing compliance and enforcement powers under the EP Act; and
– provides for incorporation of impacts previously managed through multiple regulatory approvals, under the one overarching environmental (mining) licence.

Minister for Mining and Industry, Nicole Manison says once passed, the Territory will have the most contemporary environmental framework for the management of mining and legacy mines in the country, and will be at the forefront of ongoing innovation and developments in legacy mine remediation.

“These reforms ensure we have streamlined environmental assessments system that will give greater certainty to the mining industry and streamline processes to faster approvals,” she said.

“These changes will help make the Northern Territory a more attractive place for mining investment with a modernised environmental system.

“These changes mean Territorians can have confidence that mining can take place in a sustainable way with strong environmental protections in place.”

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