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Index > Australia > NSW > State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP)

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An overview of possible impacts from coal seam gas development in Northern Rivers, New South Wales
by Elfian Schieren, 2012

1. Introduction
2. Energy and coal seam gas development
2.1 Economic viability underpinning coal seam gas development
2.2 Renewable, sustainable energy development
- Solar
- Wind
- Biogas
2.3 Coal seam gas development at a global scale
2.4 Coal seam gas development in Australia
3 Coal seam gas extraction process
- Drilling and dewatering
- Hydraulic Fracturing
- Produced Water
4 Risks to water resources from coal seam gas development
4.4 Ground water use
4.5 Water produced by coal seam gas
4.6 Contamination of Groundwater
5 Other Consequences of coal seam gas development
5.4 Impacts to agricultural production
5.5 Health impacts on humans and animals
5.6 Impacts on greenhouse gas emissions
5.7 Impacts on seismic activity
5.8 Economic impacts
5.9 Cumulative impacts
6 Potential for coal seam gas development in Northern Rivers, New South Wales
6.1 Northern Rivers Region
6.2 Using trade-offs and opportunity costs in evaluating CSG development
6.3 Prospects for development in Northern Rivers region
6.4 Energy development in Northern Rivers region
6.5 Northern Rivers community actions and groups in response to CSG development
7 Discussion
8 Conclusion
9 References

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State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP)

This press release from LockTheGate is published in full

Alliance slams NSW Minister’s surrender to mining interests

November 04, 2013 - The Lock the Gate Alliance has slammed the NSW Minister for Minister for Resources and Energy, Chris Hartcher for pressing ahead with moves to make economic interests the primary consideration for consent authorities dealing with coal mine applications, warning that it will exacerbate conflict in regional communities.

The Minister has announced this morning his intention to gazette changes to the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) for mining that would see the ‘economic significance” of a coal resource trump water, biodiversity and community health in planning decisions.

The 'Resource Significance' SEPP Amendment was placed on public exhibition in July, and met with widespread opposition, with many hundreds of public submissions opposing it.

Lock the Gate Alliance Coordinator Steve Phillips said, “The Minister is proposing an utter surrender by the Government of this state to coal mining interests, and the abandonment of any semblance of balance in decision-making.

"This is a complete reversal of the promises which the NSW Government made prior to the 2011 election - they promised to restore balance to protect water, farmland and communities - but instead this measure completely biases the system even further in favour of coal companies.

“The Minister may think that mining company profits are more important than anything else, but that’s not what we believe. We believe that our kids should have clean air to breathe, that farmers should have land to farm, and that water is more precious than coal.

"And most importantly, we believe that existing industries such as the world class Hunter wine and thoroughbred-horse breeding industries should not be sacrificed.

This policy makes coal resources the primary consideration of a decision-maker, and severely degrades consideration of the agricultural resources on which we all depend.

"This new policy would ensure that the things we value most in this state, our water, our clean air, our beautiful bushland and our sustainable industries, are available to be trampled for coal mining, with no recourse for the community.

“If the Minister thinks these laws will stop people fighting for what they love, he is sorely mistaken,” he said.


Policy is balancing act

Nov. 9, 2013 - CHANGES to the state’s planning policy governing major mining projects (the Mining SEPP, or State Environmental Planning Policy) which started this week will ensure potential investment and employment benefits for regional communities are an important consideration when deciding on major mining projects.

New mining projects bring jobs and investment to rural and regional NSW.

Of course these benefits should balance against any impacts that a mine would have on nearby communities, while also ensuring minimum environmental protections are adhered to.

The Mining SEPP does not harm the rights of those who seek balance in relation to the benefits and impacts of resource projects.

It includes a clear requirement that – together with key environmental and amenity standards including noise, air quality and aquifer interference – the significance of a mineral resource must also be considered in the decision-making process.

The Mining SEPP ensures all factors are recognised as part of a balanced and rigorous assessment process to ensure a vibrant and prosperous mining industry that continues to deliver jobs and investment to rural and regional NSW, while ensuring the protection of our valuable agricultural land and water resources.

Chris Hartcher, NSW Minister for Resources and Energy

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