NSW Minerals Council seeks more regional mining support

The NSW Minerals Council has called for a 12-month moratorium on regulatory changes in the mining industry, one of the key priorities it wants the state government to address in the upcoming June Budget.

The Council’s 2017/18 Pre-Budget submission called for the government to support NSW’s mining industry by promoting economic development and supporting regional mining communities.

NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said the mining industry has continued to be a key economic force for the state.

“After a tough few years, commodity prices have improved, particularly for coal, and future prospects for the NSW mining sector remain strong,” he said.

Galilee also emphasised the need for a moratorium on any new regulatory impositions on the sector for 12 months.

“Over the last six years our sector has been subject to a large number of wide-ranging regulatory changes across many portfolios, with significant new compliance costs, as well as a number of new fees and levies or increases in existing levies,” he said.

“To avoid reform fatigue we need to take time to assess the impact of these changes to determine their effectiveness.

“We are therefore calling for a moratorium on any new regulatory impositions on the sector for 12 months, and for the Government to also deliver on the commitment made in response to the 2014 Minerals Industry Action Plan that a review of all industry fees and levies would be completed to identify streamlining opportunities. ”

The Council has also called for a low-carbon security network such as High Efficiency Low Emissions (HELE) power plants using funds from the Coal Innovation NSW fund.

It also wants the state government to provide more support for regional mining communities such as the Hunter, the Illawarra and the Central West through the Resources for Regions program.

“The NSW Minerals Council has been a strong supporter of the program, but we remain concerned at the uncertain nature of the funding model, which has meant no new funding for the program for the last two years,” Galilee said.

He added that the Council is also seeking $60 million a year for the program.

The Council is also calling more minerals exploration support. It is seeking the continued $2 million a year funding to the New Frontiers Cooperative Drilling program and for the state government to deliver on its commitment to establish a long term strategy for minerals exploration.

Other priorities in the Council’s pre-Budget submission highlighted included streamlining and consolidating existing fees, charges and levies to reduce costs; removing the link between the rehabilitation and administrative levy; implementing planning reform commitments; and implementing measures to attract exploration investment.

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