Who’s going to clean this up? State Govt take on Linc
THE State Government is investigating whether new laws could see it legally recoup clean-up costs at Linc Energy’s Western Downs site.
With an estimated clean-up bill of $28 million for the Chinchilla site, Environment Minister Steven Miles said his department was probing new laws under the Environmental Protection Act against the liquidated company.
Potential charges could be filed against former executives of the troubled company under new Chain of Responsibility laws which the State Government passed last month to put the clean-up costs back on the company and away from taxpayers.
Linc Energy creditors on Monday voted to liquidate the company amid excessive debts of about $300m.
The Chain of Responsibility laws were passed in the aftermath of failed Queensland Nickel in Townsville where an estimated environmental clean-up bill of $93m would fall back on the taxpayer after the company went into administration.
A working group comprising several industry representative bodies including the Queensland Resources Council, Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, and the Queensland Law Society on Friday accepted the government’s request to join the group.
In announcing the laws, Dr Miles said the EPA amendments – many of which will be backdated to March 15 – sought to support farmers and protect taxpayers.
“The people hiding behind a business which is doing the wrong thing will now be expected to take action, and the people who should make a contribution to clean up and rehabilitate the site will be called on to do so,” he said.