Six year wait for Rix’s Creek approval highlights broken planning system

October 04, 2019

The approval of the Rix’s Creek South Coal Mine Continuation Project by the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) is welcome as it will secure more than 300 existing jobs, support local communities and businesses, and boost the NSW economy.  However, the nearly six years taken to secure this approval clearly demonstrates why the NSW planning system needs urgent reform.

“We welcome this approval and the job security this will bring to more than 300 hard working miners and their families. The 21 year continuation will also ensure the operation continues to support local suppliers businesses, helping to boost the Hunter economy.  However, the extremely long assessment process for an extension to an existing mining operation highlights once again why the NSW planning system needs urgent reform,” NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said today.

“This Project isn’t even a new mining operation but an extension of an existing mine - yet it’s taken almost six years to get an approval, including four years of assessment processes involving the Department and Planning and the IPC. This is an unacceptable timeframe caused by duplication, inconsistency and uncertainty within a complicated planning system that is acting as a deterrent to investment in NSW.”

“The proponent even had to lodge an interim short-term application for a nine month extension of the existing operation because the overall assessment process was taking too long and placing the existing operation and jobs in jeopardy,” Mr Galilee said.

“Projects in NSW are simply taking too long to assess and the planning system has become a lottery where no one knows the rules that will apply from one application to the next.”

“The NSW planning system needs urgent reform to ensure shorter assessment timeframes and the policy consistency and certainty needed to restore investor confidence.”

Contact: Hugo Robinson | | 0409 758 734 | 02 9274 1419


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