Cred­i­tors liq­ui­date Linc

Es­ti­mated $28m clean-up bill at Hopeland

Chinchilla News - - NEWS -

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.

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 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.

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