Mining Rehabilitation Fund recognised as Premier’s Awards finalist

Will it be second time lucky for the MRF?
Date: Tuesday, 15 September 2015

The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) has been named a finalist in the Developing the Economy category of the Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management for the second year in a row.

DMP’s Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) was runner-up to the Department of Housing’s Shared Equity EOI Program in the 2014 Awards, and Executive Director Environment Dr Phil Gorey said the department hoped to go one better this year.

“The MRF has achieved a number of significant outcomes in the past 12 months that have had positive impacts on the Western Australian economy,” Dr Gorey said.

“It injected more than $1 billion into the Western Australian mining industry as environmental bonds were retired.

“There is currently more than $33 million in the fund that can be used to rehabilitate mine sites should operators be unable to fulfil their environmental obligations.

“There have now been two compulsory reporting periods for the MRF and we are beginning to see some positive outcomes of the policy such as more land under rehabilitation.”

DMP Director General Richard Sellers said the MRF is a world-first policy that has been recognised as exemplary, within Australia and in overseas jurisdictions.

“The MRF was created with industry involvement and support, and is administered using a modern online system,” Mr Sellers said.

“The MRF team worked exceptionally hard to develop and implement the system and is extremely deserving of the recognition being a finalist for this award brings.”

The category recognises projects that maximise opportunities for the future through stimulating the economy to support employment and growth in Western Australia.

The MRF is up against the Pilbara Ports Authority’s Tidal study at world’s largest bulk export port and Western Australia Police’s Frontline 2020 in the Developing the Economy category.

DMP also nominated the South West Hub Carbon Capture and Storage Project in the Managing the Environment category as a joint submission with the Commonwealth Department of Industry and Science, CSIRO, Curtin University and Geoscience Australia.

“While the Carbon Capture and Storage project was not shortlisted as a category finalist on this occasion, it is an outstanding project,” Mr Sellers said.

“Carbon capture and storage has the potential to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions and demonstrates the department’s commitment to working with stakeholders to ensure sound environmental decision making.”

Premier’s Awards winners will be announced on Wednesday 28 October.

DMP one of three finalists in the Developing the Economy category