This Update is early notice of the introduction of the
Mining and Petroleum Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 (the
Bill) and its scope. We will send through more information on how
the changes introduced by the Bill will affect miners, at a later
This Bill proposes dramatic changes to the criteria to be
applied in state government decisions affecting mining authorities,
as well as the interaction between mining and planning laws.
The Bill is introduced against the backdrop of the recent
Independent Commission Against Corruption's reports, which
proposed amendments to the Mining Act 1992 (NSW), the
Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW)
(Planning Act) and its regulation as well as the Petroleum
(Onshore) Act 1991. This will have implications for all
If commenced, legislation will apply to pending
A high level overview of the Bill
The amendments proposed by the Bill:
remove the public interest test as a ground on which certain
administrative decisions about mining authorities may be made, and
replace it with a test based on whether the applicant or other
relevant person is a "fit and proper person"
provide that the grant, renewal or transfer of a mining lease
can be refused on the ground that the applicant is not a fit and
proper person, despite planning approval for integrated
development, state significant development, state significant
infrastructure, or a Part 3A project under the Planning Act
prevent an application for development consent under the
Planning Act to mine coal from being made or determined, unless the
applicant is the holder of a mining authority for coal on the
make it clear that the public interest can be taken into
account in deciding whether or not to approve a transitional Part
3A project under the Planning Act, and
standardise provisions dealing with the basis on which
administrative functions affecting mining authorities and petroleum
titles may be exercised.
Changes are also proposed for petroleum titles.
Implications of the Bill for existing mining operations
The high level implications of the Bill for existing mining
tenement management processes will require review, with
applications to be based around the applicant being a fit and
early planning for proposed new mining may require review,
especially where the practice of a planning approval application
preceding a tenement application has been applied
public interest (which is a very broad concept) will be
increasingly important to the tenement application process,
governance processes will need to ensure detailed review and
advice is available to boards and senior management on the
Bill's implications for pending applications and proposed new
mining (in both tenements and planning approval processes).
The amendments will add another layer of uncertainty to mining
and will need careful attention when considering the approval path
We will issue a further Update, which provides more detailed
analysis of the consequences of the amendments.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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