NSW Mining Beyond 2015 - A plan for the next NSW government

February 17, 2015

Fixing the NSW Planning System; better infrastructure for mining communities; and greater protection from illegal access safety risks headline the NSW Minerals Council plan to strengthen NSW mining beyond 2015, launched today in the lead up to the state election.

The plan outlines the policy priorities needed to ensure mining is able to deliver jobs in Sydney and across NSW, as well as deliver for the state economy and regional communities.

“This plan provides a clear policy direction for whoever governs NSW after the March election and the message is clear - if you hurt Mining, you hurt NSW,” NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee said today.

“The top priority is to fix the broken NSW planning system and restore confidence in NSW as a place to invest. This will help reverse the job losses we’ve seen in mining over the last two years - over 4,500 across the state.”

Fixing the planning system must include streamlining the process and shortening assessment timeframes, including for modifications. It must also include reform of the PAC process, and returning democratic accountability by restoring Ministerial decision making on State Significant Development,” Mr Galilee said.

“We’ve had a commitment from the Premier that the planning system will be fixed, and some progress is being made, by there’s much more to do.  We also need a commitment from Labor to ensure a bipartisan approach that puts the long term interests of NSW first,” Mr Galilee said.

NSW Mining is also calling for stronger protection from the safety risks posed by the illegal access of mine sites by extreme anti-mining protesters.

“Without action from the NSW Government to deter this reckless behaviour it’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt, despite the best efforts of police and emergency services personnel and site workers to ensure safety.”

"Thankfully, the NSW Government has promised to get tougher on these extreme activists, but until we see some changes, lives remain at risk.  We need laws that hold activists responsible for their actions and tougher penalties applied as a deterrent to others."

Other measures outlined in the NSW Minerals Council’s election plan include policies that support mining exploration, and the expansion of the Resources for Regions program to ensure more mining communities are eligible to apply for funding.

“Mining is an important and strategic industry for NSW with strong community support.  It provides the coal needed to deliver over 80 percent of electricity in NSW; directly employs 38,000 people in NSW and sustains the jobs of thousands more; supports over 8,200 business across the state; and is forecast to deliver $7.4 billion to NSW in royalties over the next four years.”

“Regardless of who leads NSW after the March election, the economic prosperity of our state and future jobs growth will be heavily dependent on a strong and dynamic mining industry.”

“Tens of thousands of mining families across NSW will be watching to see that those who would seek to represent them understand this and commit to keeping mining strong,” Mr Galilee said today.
 
The full plan, NSW Mining Beyond 2015 can be found on our publications page.

Contact: Chris Rath | crath@nswmining.com.au | 0409 758 734 | 02 9274 1419

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