AbstractThe environmental performance of the Northern Territory Extractive Industry, particularly in mined land rehabilitation, is an issue which has attracted considerable attention in recent times. This report examines current and historic industry rehabilitation practices in contrast with other Australian states and examines measures of rehabilitation success.
It was found that while the Extractive Industry is an essential provider of raw materials for construction and development, considerable opportunities for improvement in rehabilitation practices exist, both for government and industry. While studies of rehabilitation success following extractive mining are limited, those which have been conducted have clearly shown current rehabilitation practices in the Northern Territory are inadequate, with the great majority of extractive sites failing to effectively revegetate.
In comparison with other states the legislative regime of the Northern Territory is workable and practical; however, an absence of formal guidelines and policy has resulted in poor industry performance. Several steps need to be taken if rehabilitation success is to improve:
• Guidelines outlining best practice rehabilitation techniques for extractive mining should be developed and distributed to industry,
• Extractive sites should be maintained by the operator until such time as they support a functional vegetation cover,
• Quantitative rehabilitation success criteria are needed to determine the point at which an operator may be released from liability over a site,
• Ecologically sensitive areas should be clearly defined and protected from extractive mining.
|Date of Award||Nov 2004|
|Supervisor||Sean Bellairs (Supervisor)|