Mining SEPP change will cost jobs and hurt regional NSW

July 07, 2015

The NSW Government's proposal to remove economic considerations from the assessment of important mining projects will cost jobs and hurt regional mining communities. 
The proposal to change the mining State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) will remove a critical component designed to protect jobs.  The measure within Part 3 was introduced to ensure an appropriate balance of economic, environmental and community factors during the assessment process. 
At the time it was introduced the responsible Minister completely failed to explain it, enabling its purpose to be misrepresented. Faced with this, instead of defending its own policy, the Government has chosen what it believes is the easy political option rather than the sound policy option.
“This is a retrograde step that will hurt NSW. It will put at risk thousands of current and potential jobs, particularly in regional mining communities where unemployment is often well above the state average,” NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee said today.  
"Getting the balance right is important, but you can't have viable communities and a clean environment without a strong economy." 
“At the end of last year the Premier committed to halving project assessment time frames to improve investor confidence and support jobs. This proposal does the exact opposite, relegating the industry to uncertainty and putting thousands of jobs in jeopardy.”
“There are thousands of mining jobs hanging in the balance in NSW, caught up in the state planning system, including 1,800 workers and their families in the Hunter Valley.  The Planning Minister must ensure that any changes to the SEPP won’t be retrospective and impact on projects close to completing the assessment process.”
Contact: Nat Openshaw | | 0409 758 734 | 02 9274 1419

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