NSW joins Qld, streamlines mining approvals

Following Queensland’s example earlier this week, the New South Wales Government is moving to streamline its approvals processes for the resources sector.

The NSW Government has amended its mining lease standards to reduce duplication, cut red tape and improve regulatory outcomes for the resources sector.

“The changes will see the number of conditions for future standard coal mining leases reduced from 24 to nine and for other future mining leases reduced from 23 to eight,” Hartcher said.

Addressing the CEDA Energy Series forum today, minister for resources and energy, Chris Hartcher said announced new service timeframes are being set for the processing of applications under the Mining Act.

“Industry has long-called for certainty in process and in regulatory timeframes. We have heard this message and will continue our focus on cutting both red and green tape,” Hartcher said.

The average processing timeframes for minerals exploration licences and leases will be reduced from 80 business days down to 45 business days.

Average processing timeframes for coal exploration licences and leases will be reduced from 150 business days to just over three months.

And processing timeframes for renewal of coal exploration licences and leases will also be reduced from 100 business days to 55 business days.

Environmental and community protections will still apply and compliance monitoring and reporting requirements have been strengthened, he explained.

“Having listened to industry we know that when these processes take too long or when regulations change too frequently this introduces unnecessary risk and costs to projects,” Hartcher said.

Streamlining the regulatory framework is expected to harness business costs, boost process transparency, and restore investor confidence by providing greater regulatory stability.

Hartcher also said the state government supports the Commonwealth’s one-stop approvals shop policy.

“We welcome the new Federal Coalition Government’s intent to abolish the mining tax and the carbon tax, as well as its intent to introduce a tax credit for exploration costs and streamline green-tape,” he said.

He said the two levels of government will work together to create a strong agreement that recognises the importance of the mining sector.

“This is part of a range of actions the government is taking to minimise the costs of doing business in NSW and boost investment certainty,” Hartcher said.

On Monday Queensland’s minister for natural resources and mines, Andrew Cripps announced an overhaul of the state’s coal and minerals exploration approvals process, billed to halve exploration permit wait times.

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