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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment

Support for Mining Industry's Green Credentials


27 July 1997
(91/97)

A national research centre in Brisbane has received a grant of $330 000 from the Howard Government to improve ways of reducing the impact of mining on Australia's environment.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill says the funding for the Australian Centre for Minesite Rehabilitation Research is aimed at improving the industry's capacity to manage mined areas and achieve better long-term outcomes for the environment.

"Through this partnership, the Howard Government is demonstrating its commitment to advancing ecologically sustainable practices in one of Australia's major industries.

"Mining practices developed overseas cannot always be successfully applied to Australian operations so this work will concentrate on developing better techniques for mining and rehabilitating mine sites in this country.

"Training courses for mine site workers will be conducted in areas such as managing the use of cyanide in gold mines, germinating native seeds, increasing the success rate of site rehabilitation projects and reducing the extent of acid drainage.

"Studies will be conducted into uses for old mining pits and a range of other environmental issues facing the mining sector, including best practice for disposing of mineral processing waste.

"The programs funded by the government will build on previous research by independent organisations and current work practices in the mining industry.

"For the mining sector to remain a leading contributor to Australia's economy, it must continue to improve its environmental performance to build community support and recognition, and this research will make a good contribution."

Environment Australia's Office of the Supervising Scientist is overseeing the programs.

Contact: Julie Marks (Senator Hill's office) 06 277 7640 or 0419 693 515
Stewart Needham (Environment Australia) 06 274 1786
27 July 1997
91/97


Commonwealth of Australia