The Victorian government announced plans to improve the management for coal mine land during the rehabilitation process.

Minister for Resources Jaala Pulford announced enhanced provisions would be applied to Victoria’s declared mines, making rehabilitation a priority, and allowing for better preparations for land rehabilitation with future generations in mind as Victoria transitions away from coal-fired energy.

Under Victoria’s legislation, mine rehabilitation and post-closure arrangements are operator-led and funded. These new provisions will strengthen the requirements for operators to deliver on their obligations.

“Provisions need to be in place for the long term when it comes to the management of the land where large-scale mining has taken place,” Pulford said. “This will provide Victoria with the contemporary tools required to ensure rehabilitation remains the responsibility of the coal mine operators.”

The government will amend Victoria’s Mineral Resources Act to ensure rehabilitation liabilities of declared mines remain the responsibility of the mining industry, in line with similar provisions passed by the Commonwealth government for decommissioning offshore infrastructure.

A trailing liability regime will also allow the state’s mining monitors to issue remedial directions to former title holders for any required future works.

The intent is for this legislation to be backdated to the day of the announcement.

A consultation paper on the provisions will be available later this year, allowing the community, mining industry, relevant agencies and other interested parties to have their say, Pulford said.

The government will also shortly release its Draft Declared Mine Regulations for public comment.