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.
The policy includes 27 new measures that work together to identify, map and protect the State’s most valuable agricultural land and our critical underground water resources.
The policy provides for greater input from local communities, landholders and scientific experts into assessment of exploration and mining proposals.
The policy gives certainty to companies wanting to invest in NSW to develop mining and coal seam gas projects. This policy provides the platform to resolve conflicts over competing land use. Farmers and miners now know where they stand.
Protection and balance is achieved through:
- 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.
- The new Gateway assessment by an independent panel of experts to scientifically assess impacts on agricultural land and water before any mining proposal on Strategic Agricultural Land can proceed to a DA stage.
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.