Waste Management and Pollution Control Act Amendment Bill 2012

Dear Minister,

Re: Comment – Waste Management and Pollution Control Act Amendment Bill 2012
Your Reference : EN2010/0254

Thank you for your letter of 9th January 2012 and the opportunity to comment on the proposed legislation.

As you may be aware the Minerals Council of Australia represents Australia’s exploration, mining and minerals processing industry, nationally and internationally, in its contribution to sustainable development and society. MCA’s member companies produce more than 85 percent of Australia’s annual mineral output.

Northern Territory members comprise more than 100 individual mining, exploration and service support companies operating in the jurisdiction and comprise 25 percent of the Territory’s gross state product, employing more than 4,600 people.

Having consulted our members I wish to highlight the following issues for your further consideration and advice in relation to the proposed changes to the Act.

In addition to the general comments contained in this submission, specific members comments are contained under Attachment 1.

While the stated objectives of the Bill are to harmonise various pieces of legislation, our advice is that the draft Bill appears to introduce levels of duplication that reflect requirements under existing or proposed amendments to legislation (Mining Management Act), and also introduce complexities involving compliance in various scenarios for which no standards exist in the Northern Territory, notably emissions and noise.

It is clear that the main statute for mining and related activities in the Northern Territory is the Mining Management Act. In conjunction with that Act, mining activities are undertaken in conjunction with an approved Mine Management Plans. The industry is currently consulting with the Department of Resources regarding the nature of new environmental reporting provisions under the Act that will come into effect in July 2012.

Section 6 of the Waste Management Pollution Control Act exempts mining and related activities where contaminants or waste that results directly or indirectly from the carrying out of a mining activity is confined within the land on which the activity occurs.

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