For the first time, the NSW Government is creating a system to protect strategic agricultural land and water resources, and create jobs and investment for regional communities by providing certainty for landholders and mining companies.
Getting the balance right: NSW Land Use
The NSW Government has announced new safeguards under the Strategic Regional Land Use Policy which will protect some five million hectares of residential and strategic agricultural land across the State from the impacts of mining and coal seam gas (CSG) activity.
- the introduction of the Gateway process (effective from 4 October 2013) which adds an additional level of scrutiny to new State significant mining and CSG proposals on biophysical strategic agricultural land (BSAL) and the Upper Hunter equine and viticulture critical industry clusters (CICs).
- establishment of the Mining and Petroleum Gateway Panel (Gateway Panel) to oversee the Gateway process
- introduction of coal seam gas (CSG) exclusion zones to existing residential areas in all 152 councils in NSW and the North West and South West Growth Centres in Sydney.
The Government exhibited additional amendments to the Mining SEPP from 4 October to 8 November 2013:
- To extend CSG exclusion zones to future residential growth areas in 56 council areas across the State, and seven rural residential areas that meet ‘village’ criteria.
- Revised maps of the equine and viticulture CICs in the Upper Hunter region following a review process of the maps that were published in the Upper Hunter Strategic Regional Land Use Plan.
- Mapping of an additional one million hectares of biophysical strategic agricultural land across the State.
Community and stakeholder submissions are currently being considered.
For updates to the Policy please visit: www.planning.nsw.gov.au/srlup
Further information about the Gateway Panel visit: www.mpgp.nsw.gov.au
Other measures introduced:
- The mapping of two million hectares of strategic agricultural land across the Upper Hunter and New England North West Regions.
- The requirement for Agricultural Impact Statements at exploration stage.
- The establishment of a Land and Water Commissioner to oversee regulation of exploration activity before it occurs, and oversee land access agreements between land holders and miners
- An Aquifer Interference Policy that codifies assessment and protection of underground water.
- New Codes of Practice for the Coal Seam Gas industry covering well integrity and hydraulic fracturing.
NSW now boasts the strongest regulation of Coal Seam Gas exploration and activity in Australia.
Forty new positions have been created within the NSW Government to meet the increased assessment, compliance and community liaison functions required by the new policy package.
The NSW Government undertook extensive consultation with stakeholders around this policy. Read their submissions here.
Strategic Regional Land Use Policy Documents
- Getting the balance right: NSW land use
- Strategic Regional Land Use Policy - Brochure (PDF, 0.85MB)
- Strategic Regional Land Use Policy - FAQ (PDF, 0.13MB)
- Strategic Regional Land Use Policy - Gateway Fact Sheet (PDF, 0.11MB)
- Strategic Regional Land Use Policy - Protecting our Land and Water (PDF, 0.14MB)
- Strategic Regional Land Use Policy - New England North West Strategic Land Use Plan (PDF, 4.8MB)
- Strategic Regional Land Use Policy - Upper Hunter Strategic Land Use Plan (PDF, 3.4MB)
- Strategic Regional Land Use Policy - Agricultural Impact Statement - Fact Sheet (PDF, 0.15MB)
For more information about planning in NSW visit the Department of Planning and Infrastructure’s website. For more information about the Policy call 1300 305 695.
Land and Water
A Land and Water Commissioner will be appointed to give confidence to communities and landholders in the exploration stage.
- Land and Water Commissioner Fact Sheet (PDF, 0.06MB)
For more information about the Land and Water Commissioner visit the Division of Resources and Energy website.
This new policy covers the assessment and protection of underground water in New South Wales.
- Aquifer Interference Policy (PDF, 0.5MB)
- Aquifer Interference Policy Fact Sheet (PDF, 0.11MB)
- Aquifer Interference Policy FAQ (PDF, 0.21MB)
For more information about water management visit the Office of Water website.
Coal Seam Gas
New codes of practice have been established for coal seam gas well integrity and hydraulic fracture stimulation.
- Coal Seal Gas FAQ (PDF, 0.24MB)
- Coal Seam Gas Fact Sheet (PDF, 0.15MB)
- Well Integrity Code of Practice (PDF, 3.04MB)
- Fracture Stimulation Activities Code of Practice (PDF, 0.13MB)
For more information about coal seam gas visit the Division of Resources and Energy website.