The Queensland Research Council (QRC) has announced that applications are now open for two 2016 postgraduate scholarships for students working on innovative ways to improve land rehabilitation at Queensland coal mines.
The $35,000 scholarships, which run for up to three years, are awarded under the Coal Minesite Rehabilitation Trust Fund that was originally established in 2007 with industry funding to help in the development of techniques and strategies for returning areas mined for coal to self-sustaining final land uses.
The scholarships will be used to assist with the living expenses of Queensland students who are undertaking research aligned to a number of research priorities, agreed on by the Fund’s trustees.
According to the media release by the QRC, this year’s research priorities include native ecosystem rehabilitation, rehabilitation of agricultural land, landform design, drainage and stability, water management impacts (surface and groundwater quantity and quality) and mine closure, including preparation for post-mining land uses.
Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham MP has invited students with a passion for mining rehabilitation challenges to apply.
“Innovation and fresh thinking will help us to improve existing coal rehabilitation strategies and solve mine rehabilitation challenges. Partnerships across academia, industry and government scholarships help to exchange skills and ideas to inspire innovation,” he said.
“Industry-focussed scholarships like these, and the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships that are part of the government’s Advance Queensland initiative, draw on our best and brightest to keep Queensland business and industry at the cutting edge of knowledge and practice.”
QRC Chief Executive Michael Roche said research into improved rehabilitation measures for mining was key to ensuring the best environmental outcomes for both industry and the community.
“From the planning stages of a project, to well beyond its actual mine life, industry works hard to minimise the impacts of its activities on the land and the environment. Managed well, the land can be used after the completion of mining for agriculture, native ecosystems and development,” Mr Roche said.
“The research conducted by these postgraduate students is making significant contributions to understanding and implementing sustainable land management.”
Applications are to be received by 2 December 2015.