Monitoring and enforcement
Both governments and mining companies have responsibility for monitoring the impacts of mining and CSG activities on the environment. You can also monitor the impacts of activities on the environment, such as water and air quality.
Before reporting suspected breaches of environmental laws you will require evidence. It is also important to remember that the law contains certain exceptions and defences to offences. The most common defence is that a person has a permit or licence to take the action which would otherwise be an offence, such as an environment protection licence (a licence to pollute). If you are unsure about whether an action is an offence or not, call the Environment Line on 131 555.
National and State enforcement authorities can issue stop work notices in many cases where unauthorised activities are occurring that threaten harm to the environment.
- Report a suspected breach of a mining or CSG title to the NSW Department of Industry (Resources and Energy). Offences include:
- Carrying out mining or CSG activities without authorisation from the Division of Resources and Energy, or breaching a condition of an exploration or mining title. A title to explore or mine minerals or CSG must be held before any activities can be carried out, and conditions can be imposed on these titles. You can access NSW Titles, the titles mapping system for minerals and CSG in NSW, to see all titles in NSW.
- Carrying out mining CSG activities on an exempted area (e.g. a recreation reserve, park, or permanent common) without consent from the Minister for Resources and Energy.
- Report a suspected breach of an access arrangement to the NSW Division of Resources and Energy. Access arrangements are binding agreements between a landholder and a company setting out the terms of access for mining or CSG exploration. A company cannot explore for minerals or CSG without first entering into an access arrangement with the landholder. For more information about access arrangements, see our Fact Sheets on mining and CSG or our publication Mining Law in New South Wales: A guide for the community.
- To report a suspected breach of NSW planning law, contact the NSW Department of Planning and Environment. To read more about how building and development is regulated, see our Fact Sheet on DAs and consents. Examples of breaches include:
- Carrying out building or development work without the required approval.
- Breaching the conditions of a development consent.
- Removing native vegetation without the required consent.
- To report a suspected breach of national environmental law, visit the Australian Government’s EPBC Act website. To read more about how the environment is protected under national environmental law, see our Fact Sheet on the EPBC Act. Examples of breaches include:
- Taking an action that is likely to have a significant impact on a nationally listed threatened species, population or ecological community.
- Taking an action that is likely to have a significant impact on a nationally listed migratory species.
- To report a suspected breach of NSW environmental law, contact the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. Examples of illegal activity include:
- Damaging the habitat of threatened species, populations or ecological communities.
- Harming native animals, including game birds. Picking or harming native plants may also be an offence. For more information about how native plants and animals are protected in NSW, see our Fact Sheet on protecting native animals and plants.
- Report pollution to the Environment Line on 131 555. For more information about pollution, see our Fact Sheet on air, water and noise pollution.
Under certain environmental laws, any person has the right to bring proceedings in a Court to remedy or restrain a breach. In NSW, this is mainly to the Land and Environment Court. For breaches of national environmental law, it is the Federal Court. See How can I have my say? for more information. You should contact the EDO NSW Environmental Law Line to request some initial legal advice if you would like to take this step.