Queensland Rehabilitation Commissioner

The Queensland Rehabilitation Commissioner for mining, petroleum and gas (resource) activities is an independent, statutory position, developing technical and evidence-based information on complex mine rehabilitation matters.

The Rehabilitation Commissioner’s role is to define best practice rehabilitation of land, helping to ensure Progressive Rehabilitation and Closure Plans (PRCPs) are world class, and to facilitate better public reporting about rehabilitation in Queensland.

Role and responsibilities

The Commissioner has four key responsibilities:

  • Produce technical reports on the best practice rehabilitation of land.
  • Engage with stakeholders and the community to raise awareness of land rehabilitation matters.
  • Report on rehabilitation performance and trends in Queensland.
  • Provide advice to the Minister on rehabilitation practices, outcomes and policies.

Best practice

The Rehabilitation Commissioner undertakes research and produces technical, scientific based reports on the rehabilitation of land following a resource activity. These reports provide clarity on best practice rehabilitation and management of such land in Queensland.


The Rehabilitation Commissioner engages with community, industry, academics, research organisations, environmental, scientific groups and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on resource rehabilitation matters. Community forums, together with expert technical, scientific workshops, help inform the Commissioner’s research.


The Rehabilitation Commissioner monitors and provides information on resource rehabilitation performance and trends in Queensland.


The Rehabilitation Commissioner advises the Minister for the Environment and Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs on:

  • rehabilitation and management practices, outcomes and policies
  • public interest evaluation processes and performance.

About the Rehabilitation Commissioner

James Purtill has been appointed as Queensland’s first-ever mine rehabilitation commissioner, commencing October 2021.

James has a wealth of experience through his qualifications in science, his roles in the private and environment sectors, and as a Director-General, most recently with the Department of Energy and Public Works.

Governance and reporting

The Rehabilitation Commissioner is appointed under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 and is an independent, statutory position.

The Commissioner is accountable to the Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs for performance in relation to its functions and powers.

The position is supported by the Office of Better Rehabilitation (Office) that sits within the Department of Environment and Science. The Commissioner and the Office report to the Director-General of the department for financial, administrative and corporate matters.

The Commissioner is required to produce an annual report each financial year detailing its activities, achievements and performance. The first report will be tabled in Parliament in October 2022.

Technical advice provided by the Commissioner is separate from, but complementary to, the regulatory function of the department and Office staff remain independent from the department’s work program.