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Timber Queensland aims to brief Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner

Timber Queensland wants to brief Queensland’s inaugural Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner on the role that productive forestry can play in mine site rehabilitation. Source: Timberbiz

James Purtill will take up the role next month after significant legislation to improve rehabilitation regulation was passed in 2020 by the State Government.

He was a former Director-General of the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Timber Queensland CEO Mick Stephens said he looked forward to briefing Mr Purtill on the role that productive forestry can play in mine site rehabilitation to deliver multiple outcomes.

“Where feasible on suitable sites, rehabilitation using productive forestry can deliver multiple benefits in terms of regional jobs and economic development, enhancing future wood and timber supplies, and restoring degraded landscapes with improved environmental outcomes,” Mr Stephens said.

“Given we have members with extensive experience in revegetation, forestry, soil management, the carbon sector and disturbed land remediation for mine rehabilitation, we would be happy to assist with any future consultations between the forestry sector and the mining industry,” he said.

Mr Stephens said that incorporating productive forestry activities in mine rehabilitation projects can deliver incentives for sustainable outcomes.

“Given the future value of the wood resources to land managers and local communities, there is a real commercial driver to manage these sites over the longer-term,” he said.

“Mine rehabilitation activities may also be eligible to create carbon credits where mines elect to establish trees as a remediation strategy over and above the requirements of their Environmental Authority.

“These opportunities can be a win-win for the mining sector and the timber industry, in terms of providing additional wood resources while at the same time as providing environmental services such as soil protection, vegetation management and dealing with challenging sites.

“In Far North Queensland, for example, research is already underway looking at prospective commercial timber species on former mine sites, which can provide future income for landholders and stakeholders including indigenous communities,” Mr Stephens said.

“We look forward to working with the new Commissioner and the mining industry to explore these opportunities into the future.”