Submission to NT Government Review of its Disclosure Policy for Mining Security Bonds

The MCA NT considers disclosure of security bonds held for individual mining operations within the NT will pose a significant risk to the competitive standing of the Territory’s minerals sector and is unlikely to lead to improved community confidence in regulation.

The industry recognises the need for the community to have confidence in the regulation of mining and other development activities; however, it not clear whether the proposed release of individual bond data will achieve this aim.  Security bond mechanisms are poorly understood by the community.  The release of data will only exacerbate this confusion, while negatively impacting commercial arrangements and regulatory effectiveness.

The industry believes there are ways to address community concerns without compromising commercial-in-confidence information or jeopardising competitiveness of Territory-based business through interference with commercial negotiations. Greater community confidence in the government’s regulation of the minerals sector can be achieved through an effective communications strategy, improving public education through appropriately-targeted information about mining operations and mitigation of impacts, and through publication of environmental performance reports by mining operators.

Through this alternative approach, the MCA NT is confident that the government will be able to achieve its twin objectives of ensuring ‘continuing public support for this industry’ while maintaining the ability of the industry to continue to be one of the most significant contributors to the Territory’s prosperity.  The MCA NT stands willing to work with the NT government to ensure the identified need is met.

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