1. Australian governments initiate inquiries into coal ash dumps: Australian Parliaments need to initiate inquiries into coal ash dumps to understand the full extent of the toxic threat and make strong recommendations to protect human and environmental health.
2. Rehabilitation plans: Australian governments should impose an immediate obligation on ash dump owners and operators to prepare best practice rehabilitation, closure plans and post-closure plans in consultation with the communities who live near these toxic sites.
3. Tougher groundwater regulation: Australian regulators who oversee ash dumps should immediately develop and implement actions to clean up and manage ash dumps causing groundwater contamination, including re-siting operational ash dumps to thoroughly rehabilitate existing sources of contamination to best practice standards.
4. Safe containment of existing ash dumps: Australian governments should impose immediate obligations on ash dump owners and operators to convert wet dumps to dry ash emplacements.
5. Bond payments to protect communities: Australian governments should immediately impose a bond or financial assurance on ash dumps to protect Australian communities from bearing the cost burden of poorly managed or poorly rehabilitated ash dumps.
6. National guidelines: Australian governments should develop and ensure the implementation of enforceable national best practice guidelines for ash dump management, rehabilitation, and closure and post-closure management (as outlined in this report) to mitigate as far as practicable the future threat of contamination of land, groundwater, and surface water and prevent harm to human health.
7. Transparency and availability of information: Australian governments should make access to information about ash dumps transparent and available to the Australian community, including all existing management plans, details of financial assurance, rehabilitation plans, pollution incidents, fines and other enforcement actions taken by regulators, monitoring data, hydrogeological assessment, predictions for future contamination, and predictions for future land-use planning.