Trailing Liabilities for mining licensees (Declared Mines)

The Department of Energy Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) recently sought feedback to help shape a trailing liabilities scheme for Victoria’s coal mines as the state transitions away from coal-fired energy and prepares for the rehabilitation of the Latrobe Valley sites.

Download the consultation paper:

Close of online consultation

The online public consultation phase on the proposed Trailing Liabilities Scheme closed at 5:00pm 28 February 2023.

Fourteen organisations and individuals participated in the online consultation and made submissions and 583 people who responded via the Environmental Justice Australia campaign letter.

All submissions that did not include private or commercial-in-confidence details can be downloaded as a zip file below:

What is the trailing liability scheme?

The proposed trailing liability provisions will strengthen the requirements for mine operators to deliver on their rehabilitation obligations. They are intended to operate in the context of a rigorous regulatory regime that has many checks and balances. They aim to minimise the risk of non-compliance with existing decommissioning requirements by a current title holder.

The trailing liability scheme is intended to create a last-resort option that would allow the Victorian Government to ‘call back’ a former title holder or other related party, to complete rehabilitation where a current title holder fails or is unable to do so. The provisions would apply to a title holder or related party who ceased to hold that authority on or after 5 May 2022, when the Victorian Government announced its intention to introduce this change.

The provisions are intended to be closely modelled on similar provisions passed by the Australian Government last year when decommissioning offshore gas infrastructure, following extensive research and consultation. At this stage, the provisions are planned to be applied to Victoria’s declared mines, which are the three Latrobe Valley coal mines.

The proposed changes will ensure Victoria has a fit-for-purpose legislative framework, allowing the Victorian Government to respond to the challenges of rehabilitating former mine sites.

Next steps

DEECA is currently assessing the submissions and will consider relevant issues when drafting the proposed trailing liabilities legislation.

DEECA is committed to getting this legislative design right so that our laws work effectively and are consistent with contemporary economic and social standards.

Further information regarding next steps will be provided on this web page after an analysis of stakeholder submissions is complete.

In the interim if there are any queries, please email

Page last updated: 12 Apr 2024