Rio warns NSW gov over planning reforms

Rio Tinto has warned the NSW Government not to botch planning reform proposals as the miner looks towards further expansion of its Northparkes mine.

Speaking at the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia forum yesterday, Northparkes manager Stefanie Loader said the upcoming planning review had to take the wide swathe of resources project in the pipeline under consideration, according to The Australian Financial Review.

"It's important for the government to resist the temptation to impose retrospective requirements on those projects which have already entered the planning system prior to this reform commencing," Loader said.

"We're in the midst of a review of planning and we want to be sure how we are going to take [Northparkes] step change programme forward."

It comes after the NSW Government released a new planning green paper last month to speed up developments.

According to the state its report A New Planning System for NSW "sets out its proposals to reform the NSW planning system.

"The Green Paper proposes 23 ‘transformative changes’ to the planning system to move from a heavily regulated and prescriptive system to a simpler, strategic and transparent system which will include a Public Participation Charter."

This paper is reportedly the government's response to an independent panel that last year reviewed the existing planning systems and created a two volume report entitled The Way Ahead for Planning in NSW, which contained more than 370 recommendations.

The news was welcomed by the NSW Minerals Council, which called the green paper a "positive first step".

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