I will preface by saying from the outset that I am not suggesting that the mining of coal is good for the environment in any way, shape, or form.
However, I am categorically certain that it is necessary by virtue of how our civilisation has evolved and will continue to be relevant for decades to come in our global energy mix; like many crutches upon which people become reliant, kicking it out from under us will hurt more than it helps.
I am also strongly of the view that if mined and used responsibly, the effects of coal on our environment can be managed. Further, with continued investment and focus on efficiencies and technology like carbon capture and storage (CCS) in heavy use environments, it can be materially reduced while we all work toward balancing our energy creation sources.
This class of insurance is specifically designed to respond in the event of an insured business, its employees, directors and officers inadvertently breaching an Act of any Australian Parliament by covering defence costs and fines or penalties issued against the business or individuals.
Governments are constantly legislating new laws or amending current legislation to place greater deterrents on businesses with subsequent fines increasing and in some instances being linked to current Consumer Price Index (inflation) levels.
One critical risk for contractors – and the engineering market more broadly – is the issue of Proportionate Liability legislation. Proportionate liability legislation was an important reform introduced in response to the 2001 insurance crisis and replaced the doctrine of ‘joint and several’ liability.
Companies operating within the construction, resource and energy sectors commonly assume a variety of risks through their contractual arrangements. Whilst many of these contracts may trace their origins to an Australian Standard form, in many cases these contracts will have been ‘doctored’ from one project to the next.