New laws in NSW for mining and agriculture conflicts

The New South Wales government has introduced a new regime to deal with conflicts between agriculture and tourism and the coal seam and coal seam gas (CSG) industries.

The O’Farrell government says a tough transition policy as a precautionary approach to regional mining is necessary and will be implemented immediately.

Prior to the state election, the party promised better agriculture impact assessments, community involvement and protection of acquifers.

The Liberal party also promised to declare the Dharawal conservation area as national parkland to prevent against mining there, but experts were quick to point out it may not be that simple.

The party was dealt another blow when it was revealed that unpublicised licensed were already in place in the conservation area.

The details of the changes will not be made public for another two weeks.

Deputy Premier told the ABC the government is working on full legislative reform to protect agriculture.

"In the meantime these transitional arrangements pick up a lot of our policy to ensure that those protections are in place that where we’re considering any form of mining development whether that’s gas extraction or whether it’s an open cut or underground mine that we are considering properly the impacts on agricultural land, that includes the impacts on water,” he said.

The New South Wales Farmers has welcomed the changes.

"We’re very gratified that that the Government is going to make good on their promises here, and we look forward to talking to them more about this process.

"They’ve indicated that they’re going to introdue an aqua-fer interference regulation, they’ve also indicated that they they’re going to introduce an agricultural productivity assessment,” Fiona Simpson told the ABC.

Earlier today, the Western Australian government said it is considering tougher laws to protect the Margaret River wine-growing region from mining and development.

Image: Department of Primary Industries


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