Mine rehabilitation bonds ‘unnecessary’

THREE coal mine operator representatives have told the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry rehabilitation bonds are unnecessary.

Yallourn mine manager Ron Mether said there was no need for rehabilitation bonds given detailed work plans, reporting and progressive rehabilitation.

“Certainly the bonds have never driven our behaviour before to do those rehabilitation works,” Mr Mether said.

He said if a mine stopped operation and left a legacy for the state, the state could come to repair that legacy.

“The state shouldn’t be exposed, but I think there needs to be assessment of that exposure based on the type of industry that we are,” Mr Mether said.

AGL Loy Yang mine general manager Steve Rieniets said where companies were large, the likelihood of them walking away from operations was very small.

Mr Rieniets said the bond was not set at a level to reflect the contingent liability for mine rehabilitation.

“The fact that the bond was the same for all mines would draw you to that conclusion,” he said.