Integrated Mining Policy
The NSW Government is implementing a new whole-of-government approach to mining applications through an Integrated Mining Policy (IMP)
The IMP has been developed to provide clarity on mining issues, reduce duplication in the mining approvals process, and make information more accessible for the community. The Policy will apply to all State significant mining developments, including coal and mineral mines, but does not include petroleum operations or coal seam gas proposals, or any exploration activities.
The NSW Government has released four final documents relating to the IMP, and is revising other IMP documents following the public consultation process.
The NSW Government called for public submissions in two stages from May to September 2015. EDO NSW made submissions to the policy documents at both stages of the consultation. We recommended overall that legislative reform is required in order reduce the environmental and social impacts associated with large scale mining projects.
Stage 1 submission
Our stage 1 submission mainly addresses the Policy Framework for Biodiversity Offsets for Upland Swamps and Associated Threatened Species (Swamps Offset Policy).
EDO NSW does not support the Swamps Offset Policy. Our objections are based on specific elements of the Policy itself, flaws in the underlying offsets policy framework and the latest scientific evidence, which indicates that swamps cannot be rehabilitated. We recommend that the Government (i) create ‘red flag’ areas which prohibit mining directly beneath and close to swamps, and (ii) require companies to ensure mine layouts avoid impacting these areas.
Download stage 1 submission (PDF 612KB)
Stage 2 submission
EDO NSW is generally supportive of the documents that comprise Stage 2 of the IMP. The documents are clearly intended to improve the transparency and accountability of companies engaging in state significant mining developments.
However, we argue that certain amendments to these documents would enhance their capacity to value-add to the current regulatory regime. Among a number of recommendations, our submission suggests that environmental monitoring data be made available to the community to aid transparency, and that guidelines be prepared to help communities negotiate agreements with mining companies. The purpose of these guidelines would be to inform the community of their rights and to prohibit 'gag clauses'.
Download stage 2 submission (PDF 414KB)
Boggabri coal mine in the Leard state forest by Philip Spark
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