NSW Govt announces tough new mining measures
The New South Wales Government says a tough new interim assessment regime will now be applied to mining and coal seam gas extraction applications.
The interim policy applies in regional areas to reduce conflict between agriculture and tourism, and the expanding coal and coal seam gas industries.
The Coalition promised a tough transition policy taking a precautionary approach to regional mining, within four weeks of being elected.
The Resources and Energy Minister Chris Hartcher says that policy now applies.
Before the election the Coalition promised agricultural impact assessments, community involvement and protection of aquifers.
But full details will not be made public for another two weeks, when the O'Farrell Government identifies protected areas in regional land use plans accross the state.
Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner says the Government is working on drafting the full legislative reform to ensure mining does not take precedence over agriculture.
"In the meantime these transitional arrangements pick up a lot of our policy to ensure that those protections are in place that where we're considering any form of mining development whether that's gas extraction or whether it's an open cut or underground mine that we are considering properly the impacts on agricultural land, that includes the impacts on water."
Fiona Simpson from the New South Wales Farmers Association says it is about time the process for awarding mining licenses was changed.
"We're very gratified that the Government is going to make good on their promises here, and we look forward to talking to them more about this process," she said.