Financial assurance for prescribed activities

Not all prescribed activities are required to provide financial assurance. If you are required to supply a financial assurance, this requirement will be included as a condition of your environmental authority (EA).

You must pay financial assurance before carrying out any activities authorised by your EA.

In addition to requiring financial assurance for an EA, the administering authority may also request a financial assurance payment as a condition of a transitional environmental program.

Calculating financial assurance

Financial assurance is based on the likely costs and expenses that the Queensland Government may incur when taking action to rehabilitate or restore and protect the environment because of environmental harm that your activity may cause.

You have to calculate financial assurance in accordance with the methodology approved in the Queensland Government's guideline Financial assurance under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (ESR/2015/1758) (PDF, 916KB).

The guideline includes details on:

  • when financial assurance is required
  • calculating financial assurance (you can use the mining or petroleum and gas financial assurance calculator)
  • applying for a discount on your financial assurance
  • paying financial assurance
  • amending, discharging or claiming financial assurances
  • mandatory information requirements when applying for a decision on financial assurance by your administering authority
  • mandatory decision criteria that the administering authority must consider when making a decision.

Applying for a discount on your financial assurance

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can qualify for a discount on the amount of financial assurance you are required to pay.

The maximum discount that can be awarded is 30%.

Discount categories

  • Financial discount - available where an EA holder submits certified documentation to demonstrate sound financial health and a declaration that the costs of rehabilitation have been adequately budgeted for. Read the Declaration for application of financial discount on financial assurance (ESR/2015/1822) (DOCX, 97KB) and Appendix B (Discount System) of the financial assurance guideline for more information.
  • Progressive rehabilitation and certification discount - available for EA holders who avoid impacting areas of remnant vegetation or where areas of significant disturbance are being proactively rehabilitated.
  • Waste management discount - available where an EA holder can demonstrate they are not undertaking significant high risk storage activities (waste rock dumps, regulated dams, brine and landfill waste) or they have implemented measures that reduce the amount of waste that would otherwise be stored in onsite high risk storage activities.

Read the guideline Financial assurance under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (ESR/2015/1758) (PDF, 916KB) for more information on how to apply for a discount.

Applying for a decision on financial assurance required

For all prescribed EAs that contain financial assurance conditions, you must apply to your administering authority for a decision about the amount and form of your financial assurance (ESR/2015/1754) (DOCX, 107KB).

Read the guideline Financial assurance under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (ESR/2015/1758) (PDF, 916KB) for more details on information requirements and how to calculate financial assurance.

Lodgement of financial assurance

A decision notice on the amount and form of financial assurance will be issued to you by the administering authority, which will specify the amount and form of financial assurance required, and the contact information for lodgement.

The administering authority will require financial assurance to be provided in the form of cash or a bank guarantee. If a bank guarantee is provided, it must be presented on the letterhead of an approved financial institution with the exact wording of the approved Pro-forma for financial institution's undertaking (ESR/2016/1980) (DOCX, 49KB). Any deviation from the pro-forma template will need to be submitted for approval by the administering authority before lodgement will be accepted.

Read the guideline Financial assurance under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (ESR/2015/1758) (PDF, 916KB) for more information about the lodgement of financial assurance.

Claims on your financial assurance

Your administering authority can claim or use your financial assurance to prevent environmental harm or rehabilitate the environment after it has been disturbed.

Your administering authority will notify you before making any claim on your financial assurance. You will be allowed to respond with a written argument against the claim.

Amending or discharging financial assurance

As the EA holder, you can apply to have the financial assurance amended or discharged (changed or returned) by making an application to your administering authority.

The EA holder can apply to amend or discharge the financial assurance, even if the funds have been provided by a third party (e.g. a bank).

You may be required to submit a compliance statement specifying how much your activities have complied with EA conditions.

Your financial assurance will only be discharged if the administering authority decides that no claim is likely to be made on the assurance.

Contact your administering authority for advice on how to apply.

Changing the amount of financial assurance

The administering authority may ask you to change the amount of financial assurance.

You will be sent a notice with the new amount of financial assurance and the form the financial assurance must take (e.g. bank guarantee).

You can make a submission about this new amount and form, which the administering authority will consider when making its final decision.

Replenishing financial assurance

The administering authority can direct you to replenish the financial assurance if all or part of it has been used.

You will be sent a notice stating how much of the financial assurance has been used and how to replenish it.

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