On 1 November Queensland regulation requirements for progressive rehabilitation and closure (PRC) plans commence. Engaging stakeholders in the development of PRC plans has huge potential for the enhancement of a company’s social licence to operate by strengthening relationships through meaningful, positive and ongoing engagement with their community.

Rehabilitation of voids offer opportunities for the community and provide a positive environment in which to engage stakeholders and doing so will increase buy in from community around the outcomes of the PRC plans.

The Department of Environment and Science is yet to finalise the Progressive rehabilitation and closure plan (PRC plan) guideline, however the draft for consultation does provide some insight into what will be expected in the preparation of a PRC plan:

  • applicants must consult stakeholders and the community early and continuously throughout the development of the PRC plan and generally throughout the life of the mine; and
  • the applicant must demonstrate sufficient effort in engaging with all stakeholders outside of, and in addition to the statutory requirement of a public notification period.

The requirement related to stakeholder engagement in the Environmental Protection Act 1994 can be found in sections 126C(1)(j), 126C(1)(c)(iii) and 126C(1)(c)(iv).

Andrea Kanaris  –  National Technical Leader, Social Impact Assessment