Posted on August 8, 2013 by Frances Tse

Proposed amendment to Mining SEPP to recognise resource significance

The Department of Planning and Infrastructure has recently published a consultation draft of proposed amendments to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Mining, Petroleum Production and Extractive Industries) 2007 (Mining SEPP) to clarify how the significance of a resource is to be taken into account when determining an application for consent for development for the purpose of mining.

Provisions are proposed to be included in the Mining SEPP which require the consent authority to consider the significance of a resource when determining an application for consent for development for the purposes of mining.

The significance of the resource is proposed to be determined by:

  • the economic benefits of developing the resource, and
  • any advice by the Director-General of the Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services as to the relative significance of the resource in comparison with other resources of the State.

The consideration of the significance of the resource is also to be the principal consideration out of the matters for consideration set out in Part 3 of the Mining SEPP when determining a development application, and the weight to be given to the other matters is to be proportionate to the importance of that matter to the significance of the resource.

Further, the proposed amended Mining SEPP sets out development standards for mining development and provides that if the development satisfies a development standard, the consent authority cannot refuse consent on that ground.

The Mining SEPP is also proposed to be amended so that the consent authority must consider any certification by the Chief Executive of the Office of Environment and Heritage on measures to mitigate or offset biodiversity impact of a proposed mining development.

Submissions on the consultation draft of the amendment to the Mining SEPP can be made until 12 August 2013. The draft amendment can be found on the Department of Planning and Infrastructure’s website.