Pershke, DF & Elliott, PE 2019, 'Post-closure land uses – defined through a strategic land use planning approach', in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Mine Closure 2019: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Mine Closure
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 983-996, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_rep/1915_77_Pershke
There has been an assumption that rehabilitation should return mine sites to a natural ecosystem reflecting the pre-mining condition. This view is commonly expressed by civil action groups and is implied by the hierarchy outlined in the Western Australia (WA) Guidelines for Preparing Mine Closure Plans, which suggest that a preferred post-closure outcome is to “reinstate natural ecosystems to be as similar as possible to the original ecosystem”.
While the guidelines allow for alternative land uses to be considered, there is generally limited consideration of post-mining land uses, with the default position being that the land will revert to a pre-mining land use (Western Australia Biodiversity Science Institute 2018). Although this outcome might satisfy agencies responsible for mine closure regulation, there are others that question whether this provides best value to the region; for example, East Kimberley Chamber of Commerce and Industry (2017).
This paper draws on the literature and the authors’ recent experiences in working with mining companies in different regional areas of WA to illustrate:
We will identify areas where we have had wins in overcoming hurdles and challenges, and areas where further work or alternative approaches are required.
Keywords: land use, planning, productive use, collective action
Alcoa 2017, Point Henry 575, viewed 28 June 2017,
Anglo-American plc. 2016, Sustainability Report, viewed 22 May 2019,
BHP 2018, Hedland Collective: A collaborative focus on community enhancement, viewed March 2019.
BHP 2017, Reconciliation Action Plan 2017–2020, viewed March 2019.
East Kimberly Chamber of Commerce and Industry 2017, Submission to the Inquiry into the rehabilitation of mining and resources projects as it relates to Commonwealth responsibilities.
Environmental Defenders Office of Australia 2017, Inquiry into the rehabilitation of mining and resources projects as it relates to Commonwealth responsibilities. Canberra, viewed March 2019,
Environmental Protection Authority and Department of Mines and Petroleum 2015, Guidelines for Preparing Mine Closure Plans, Government of Western Australia, Perth.
FSG n.d., Tackling complex problems with collective impact, viewed March 2019,
Goldfields Esperance Development Commission 2016, Goldfields-Esperance Regional Investment Blueprint. A plan for 2050, viewed 22 June 2019,
Heyes, J, Murphy, D, Foster, S & White, S 2018, ‘What Comes After Mining? How Regulatory Frameworks Can Enable Creativity’, in C Drebenstedt, F von Biscmarck, A Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Mine Closure, Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg, Leipzig, pp. 171–179.
International Council on Mining and Metals 2019, Integrated Mine Closure Good Practice Guide, 2nd edn, viewed 22 June 2019
Lock the Gate Alliance 2017, Rehabilitation of Mining Resources Projects as it relates to Commonwealth Responsibilities, viewed March 2019,
Murphy, D & Heyes, J 2016, Mine Closure – are we using the right drivers? AusIMM Bulletin October 2016, viewed March 2019,
Penrith Lakes 2019, A Destination to Live, Work, Shop, Play and Retreat into Nature, viewed March 2019,
Pilbara Development Commission 2017, Pilbara Regional Investment Blueprint, viewed March 2019,
Western Australia Biodiversity Science Institute 2018, Industry Interviews and Survey, Presentation for Western Australia Biodiversity Science Institute Completion Criteria Stakeholder Workshop.
Western Australia Planning Commission 2014, State Planning Strategy 2050. Government of Western Australia, Department of Planning on behalf of Western Australian Planning Commission, Perth.