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Critical elements in implementing fundamental change in public environmental policy: Western Australia’s mine closure and rehabilitation securities reform

Gorey, P., McHenry, M.P., Morrison-Saunders, A., Mtegha, H. and Doepel, D. (2016) Critical elements in implementing fundamental change in public environmental policy: Western Australia’s mine closure and rehabilitation securities reform. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, In press .

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Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14486563.2016.1179227
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Abstract

Development of public policy is a key role of government. Following the framework for Australian governments to uphold when developing public policy alone will not guarantee good policy development. This research critically explores the policy development process of the Department of Mines and Petroleum in Western Australia for mine closure and rehabilitation securities reform, where significant costs for mining companies, and large environmental and community legacies were at stake. Fundamental change from use of individual bonds to a central Mining Rehabilitation Fund resulted; offering financial advantage for mining companies and government alike, and a mechanism for rehabilitation of historically abandoned mines. Critical elements in the policy development process were: (1) openness in clearly articulating the policy problem at the outset, (2) retaining focus on the policy scope relevant to the jurisdictional level, (3) use of trusted experts especially for contentious aspects of the reform agenda, (4) commitment to stakeholder engagement throughout, and (5) acknowledging and managing uncertainties through transparent and consultative data gathering processes. Attention to these matters enabled an innovative and effective mine closure and rehabilitation policy solution to be implemented by the Government of Western Australia that is unique in Australia, and perhaps the world.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Group Ltd
Copyright: © 2016 Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand Inc.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/32233
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