The mining industry says it is doing its part to protect the Australian environment. 

Last week saw the release of Australia’s State of the Environment report, which shows the local environment is in poor health, and has deteriorated over the past five years due to pressures of climate change, habitat loss, invasive species, pollution and mining.

Despite the slight, the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) says the local mining sector is committed to the protection and restoration of the environment and national heritage.

“A focus on clear, effective and outcomes based regulation outlined by the Government will provide certainty for businesses, the community and decision makers achieving the high national environmental and heritage standards Australians expect,” MCA executive officer Tania Constable says. 

“Timely approvals, national coordination and clearer guidelines will help Australia’s minerals industry create more jobs, boost investment and contribute to improved national biodiversity and heritage outcomes.

“The Australian industry is a global leader in responsible production, providing the essential elements necessary for modern life, supporting the nation’s economy and the energy transition.

“While the minerals industry is a relatively small land user – occupying less than 0.2 per cent of the Australian land mass – it takes seriously its commitment to land and water stewardship.

“As a temporary land use, the industry is committed to managing, mitigating and offsetting potential significant impacts and contributing to broader biodiversity outcomes. Australian companies plan for and rehabilitate land across the mine life – from exploration to closure.

“In addition to strict regulatory requirements, the industry undertakes a range of voluntary conservation activities, establishing significant conservation areas and partnering with local communities and First Nations people to support enduring environmental outcomes.”

Ms Constable said the sector supports programs that extend well beyond mines to surrounding regions.

“The minerals industry is at the forefront of innovation – investing heavily in environmental data and conservation science, working in partnership with leading institutions. Australian leading practice is exported globally. These programs will form part of the industry’s contribution to the government’s environmental policy agenda,” she said.