Palaszczuk Government Chain of Responsibility guideline takes effect

The guideline for stronger environmental laws to prevent Queensland taxpayers picking up multimillion dollar environmental clean-up bills takes effect today (Friday) following extensive industry and public consultation.

“The Environmental Protection (Chain of Responsibility) Amendment Act 2016 came into effect last year after being passed with the bipartisan support of the Queensland Parliament,” Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles said.

“The statutory guideline provides direction about how the Act will be applied, giving confidence to industry and the community about how these new powers will be used.

“The guideline will give business and the community confidence that the new powers will be used in a consistent, transparent and fair manner to achieve the best outcome for the community and the environment.

“It will direct the government’s use of these powers to ensure they benefit the community and will address any uncertainty industry and other stakeholders have about the reach of the new laws.

“The Chain of Responsibility laws allow environmental and rehabilitation obligations to be enforced against ‘related persons’of companies in financial difficulty, to ensure that the community doesn’t carry the costs of cleaning up after industry.

“Queenslanders must have confidence that our land, waters and natural environment will be protected from unscrupulous operators.”

Dr Miles said a detailed and transparent process was undertaken to draft the guideline, providing stakeholders with a genuine opportunity to contribute to the implementation of these important new laws.

“In November 2016, a draft version of the guideline was released for public consultation,” Dr Miles said.

“Over the course of the guideline’s development, the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection considered feedback from a range of stakeholders”.

A working group of key stakeholders was set up in May 2016 to inform the guideline’s development.

The group included stakeholders from industry sectors and community groups, including Queensland Resources Council, Australian Institute of Company Directors, Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, Environmental Defenders Office Qld, Queensland Law Society, Australian Bankers’ Association, and Australian Restructuring Insolvency & Turnaround Association (ARITA).

“Members dedicated significant time and effort to this process,” Dr Miles said.

“I acknowledge and thank the working group members for their commitment in producing the guideline –their assistance in fine-tuning the guideline was invaluable.”

Public interest lawyers Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO Qld) welcomed today's commencement of the guideline.

“The Environmental Protection (Chain of Responsibility) Amendment Act 2016 provides new tools for government to hold mining and other industrial projects accountable for any unlawful environmental harm they may cause,” EDO Qld CEO Jo-Anne Bragg said.

“This is a win for Queensland’s environment and community and, as public interest lawyers, we look forward to watching Minister Miles and his team ensure the new tools under the legislation are used effectively.”

The guideline is available on the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection’s website at www.ehp.qld.gov.au.


More Articles


New Vegetation Management Laws

On 3 May 2018, the Queensland government delivered on one of its major election promises by passing the Vegetation Management and Other legislation Amendment Act 2018 (Qld) (“the Amendment Act”). The Amendment Act restricts the rights of farmers to...

Read More

Getting landholders back onto the land

AS RURAL land values improve and cattle and feed prices follow the lead, Queensland’s rural property scene is now the new hot topic.  Everyone seems to have an opinion, and wants in on it. From powerlines and highways, to solar farms and railwa...

Read More

Beef Week 2018

Emanate Legal out in force attending Beef Australia 2018 ...

Read More

Research and development investment underpins continued growth of Queensland’s agricultural sector

The Palaszczuk Government continues investments into research and development to underpin the record growth in Queensland’s $19.95 billion agriculture sector Acting Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Leeanne Enoch said the government invested over $...

Read More

Queensland’s agricultural sector closes in on $20 billion mark

Queensland’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry production has now almost reached the record level of $20 billion for the 16/17 financial year. Acting Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and Minister for Regional Economic Development Leeanne Enoch sa...

Read More

Underground coal gasification now prohibited in Queensland

A ban on underground coal gasification (UCG) in Queensland is now the letter of the law, following the successful passage of legislation in Parliament today. Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said while creating jobs for regional Queenslan...

Read More

Bill brings certainty to landholders, resources industry

New legislation introduced into Parliament today will provide landholders and resource companies with greater certainty when negotiating conduct and compensation agreements and make good agreements. Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham s...

Read More

Land dealings lead the way

A Townsville lawyer believes Adani has set the standard for how mining companies should deal with landholders when negotiating to acquire land needed for large-scale projects.Emanate Legal’s Barry Taylor has been dealing with Adani since 2010 and has act...

Read More