NSW COAL AND GAS STRATEGY - NSWMC Submission

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NSW COAL AND GAS STRATEGY - NSWMC Submission

Postby HVPA_research » Sat Jul 30, 2011 8:13 pm

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The following is an Executive Summary of the NSW COAL AND GAS STRATEGY SUBMISSION from NSW Minerals Council. The full text of the submission can be downloaded from http://huntervalleyprotectionalliance.com/pdf/NSW_MC_CoalAndGasStrategySubmission_110413.pdf

COMMENT: While it is possible to agree with most conclusions outlined in this document, they are too general to have much impact on any future developments. From the viewpoint of people who live on the land targeted by the mining industry, they offer very little. The basic imbalance, where powerful corporate interests ( supported to the hilt by the governments of the day) mostly disregard interests of the local residents, has not been addressed at all.

Executive Summary

The NSW Minerals Council (NSWMC) is the peak body representing mineral exploration companies and the producers of coal, minerals and extractive materials in NSW. While both the coal and coal seam gas industries are the subject of the NSW Coal and Gas Strategy, it should be clarified that NSWMC does not represent the coal seam gas industry. The comments within this submission relate only to the coal industry.

The past few years have seen debates about the growth of the coal mining industry escalate. This has largely been driven by the perceived threat that this growth poses to other industries, the health and amenity of local communities, and the effects of mining on the environment and climate.

Both the current and previous Governments responded to community concerns by introducing strategic initiatives to address the growth of mining these initiatives, which have the potential to achieve better environmental, social and economic outcomes in regional areas.

The Strategy must recognise the significant differences between the coal and coal seam gas industries, in terms of their exploration process, production process, regulatory framework and history in NSW. Each industry will require a different strategy.

In addition to identifying specific issues for each coal mining region, the Scoping Paper sets out 13 "priority initiatives" (each of which covers a broad spectrum) for the Government to manage the growth of the industry. NSWMC has made recommendations for each of the initiatives identified in the Scoping Paper as well as on some key additional issues from the industry's perspectiove. There are valuable elements in the Strategy's key priority initiatives such as the need to improve the regulatory regime that NSWMC believes should be continued in order to inform thr development of the Government's strategic land use policy. NSWMC's recommendations will also assist the Government in the development of its broader planning reforms and enable the sustainable growth and contribution of the industry to the State.

Given the number of proposed initiatives, the resource and time constraints of the bureaucracy and the expectations of the community, industry and all stakeholders, NSWMC strongly recommends that the Government approaches the Coal Strategy in stages:

1. Identify priority initiatives/areas for action
2. Develop an action plan for each initiative which includes timeframes, identifies which agency (and
Minister) is responsible and resourcing requirements.

NSWMC believes that the priority actions are:

␣ A plan to implement strategic regional land use plans in the key growth areas of the Hunter and Gunnedah regions
␣ The identification of specific Guidelines and other guidance documents that need to be prepared, and a timeframe for their preparation
␣ The identification of specific areas of legislative reform that need to be addressed and a timeframe for addressing them
␣ Proposals to improve communication processes
␣ The identification of initiatives to improve operational practices
␣ A review of resourcing requirements within the Government agencies involved in the regulation of coal mining in NSW
␣ The identification of any issues that require further investigation or research.

NSWMC has made specific recommendations for each of these actions. Each action must be
implemented with appropriate consultation with the industry and other stakeholders.
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