Two scholarships worth up to $35,000 a year are up for grabs for students working on innovative ways to improve land rehabilitation at Queensland coal mines.
The Coal Minesite Rehabilitation Trust Fund, hosted by the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), is calling for student applications for its 2022 postgraduate scholarship program.
The Fund supports up to two students a year to pursue postgraduate studies in environmental management at any university in Queensland.
QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said today the industry needs more world-class mine rehabilitation experts to help innovate and lead the resources sector’s practices on an ongoing basis.
“Responsible land rehabilitation is central to the business of sustainable mining in Queensland,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“While mine rehabilitation is highly regulated, better implemented and more accountable than ever before, we need ongoing research to fill knowledge gaps and identify future issues to give stakeholders the confidence that our industry can effectively manage and reduce our impacts on the environment.”
Mr Macfarlane said resources companies understand the critical importance of maintaining leading practice environmental standards.
“These industry-funded, mine rehabilitation scholarships benefit individual students but also benefit our industry because we need innovation and fresh thinking to help us continually improve our practices,” he said.
“The resources sector is in fact one of the biggest supporters of research in this area in the country.”
Central Queensland University (CQU) student, and 2014 scholarship recipient Leigh Stitz, now Executive Officer of the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health, dedicated her postgraduate project to investigating the importance of Macroinvertebrates in freshwater tropical systems, with a particular focus on the Fitzroy catchment.
“My studies concluded that the existing biological indicators used to measure waterway health require the development of locally derived water quality guidelines and trigger values,” Ms Stitz said.
“The QRC scholarship allowed me to take my research to another level with a particular view to improving regional waterway monitoring, enabling me to support Central Queensland industry and the community.
“Using the knowledge I gained during my studies continues to benefit the industry in my current position managing the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health.”
Mr Macfarlane said the resources industry works hard to minimise the impacts of its activities on the environment, from the planning stages of a project right through to well beyond its actual mine life.
"Managed well, land can be used after the completion of mining for a range of uses such as agriculture, native ecosystems and community development,” he said.
“We hope the research conducted by postgraduate students involved in this program will make a significant contribution to the further understanding, and achievement, of sustainable land management outcomes.”
Applications close Friday, 10 December 2021. Further information on the 2022 Coal Minesite Rehabilitation Scholarships is available here.
The QRC is Queensland’s peak body for coal, metal and gas explorers, producers and suppliers across the resources sector. It contributes one in every five dollars to the state economy, supports one in six Queensland jobs, supports more than 15,000 businesses and contributes to more than 1,200 community organisations – all from 0.1 percent of Queensland’s land mass.