We are committed to carrying out our compliance activities in a transparent way. As part of this, we provide regular reports on our compliance activities.
We prepare regular reports highlighting the work undertaken by the compliance team.
On 10 May 2018, the Department issued a $15,000 Penalty Notice to CEAL Limited (trading as Multiquip Quarries) for failing to locate hard rock processing equipment at the quarry in accordance with the project Environmental Assessment and Statement of Commitments. The company had previously been advised that the equipment was not located as required by the approval but failed to address the problem in a timely manner. The Department also notified CEAL Limited that it intended to issue a Compliance Order restraining further use of the processing equipment until it was operated in accordance with the approval. Discussions are continuing with the company to determine an appropriate approach to remedying the breach.
On 11 April 2018, the Department issued an Order to the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) to ensure on-going conservation management of offset areas and the implementation of final rehabilitation of the former Rockley Falls quarry site. RMS must engage independent experts to review and revise its Rehabilitation and Vegetation Offsets Management and Quarry Closure Plans by 30 September 2018. The Order followed the Department’s issuing an Official Caution to RMS in February 2018 for failing to pay a $675,500 Vegetation Offset Bond, which has now been paid.
On 30 April 2018, the Department issued a $15,000 Penalty Notice to South Ballina Group, owners of South Ballina Sand Quarry, for failing to undertake progressive rehabilitation as required by their approval. The quarry approval was modified in April and further strengthened the requirements for South Ballina quarry to undertake progressive rehabilitation and to undertake all reasonable measures to minimise the total area exposed for dust generation at any time. Interim stabilisation measures must be implemented where reasonable and feasible to control dust emissions in disturbed areas that are not active and which are not ready for final rehabilitation. The Department will continue to monitor compliance with these requirements.
On 16 April 2018, the Department issued an Official Caution to Pace Farm Pty Ltd for failing to undertake a hazard audit in 2017. The development consent requires a hazard audit to be undertaken every three years, with the last hazard audit undertaken in 2014. Hazard audits are important to verify the integrity of safety systems and that the facility is being operated in accordance with its hazards-related conditions of consent. The hazard audit has since been commissioned.
On 13 April 2018, the Department issued an Official Caution to Aston Coal 2 Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Whitehaven Coal Limited (Whitehaven), for exceeding sound power levels in 2016 and 2017 at the Maules Creek Coal Mine. Schedule 3 condition 12 of PA 10_0138 requires all equipment and noise control measures deliver sound power levels that are equal to or better than the sound power levels modelled in the Maules Creek Coal Environmental Assessment (EA). While Whitehaven had undertaken works during 2016 and 2017 to reduce sound power levels from mobile and fixed plant items, a number of fixed plant items were found to be above the modelled criteria in 2016 and 2017 monitoring. The Department noted that there have been no non-compliances with noise limits at private residential properties. Whitehaven have applied for a modification to PA 10_0138, which is currently being assessed.
On 30 April 2018, the Department issued an Official Caution to Hunter Valley Energy Coal Pty Ltd (HVEC) for failing to implement the approved Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Management Plan (AQGGMP) and Air Quality Monitoring Program (AQMP) at their Mt Arthur Coal Mine. It was found that HVEC failed to undertake timely surveillance and adequate response to real-time air quality monitoring alarms, as required by the AQGGMP and AQMP during the period 20:06 14 December 2017 to 09:11 15 December 2017. The Department expects that all measures described in the AQGGMP and AQMP are implemented at all times to ensure air quality does not exceed the criteria specified in the project approval.
On 21 February 2018, the Department issued a $15,000 Penalty Notice to the Principal Contractor, Christie Civil Pty Ltd (Christie Civil) for failing to install shaker pads at the exit point of the project site during the period October to December 2017. Consequently, soil material was tracked onto the public road with potential for dust impacts to neighbouring properties and sediment being potentially washed into the street stormwater drainage system. Christie Civil has now installed the shaker pads and has constructed a work pavement for the trucks, to minimise material being tracked onto the road.
On 28 February 2018, the Department issued a $15,000 Penalty Notice to Holcim (Australia) Pty Ltd (Holcim) for failing to implement the Air Quality Management Plan by not undertaking air quality (PM10) monitoring during 2016 at the Jandra Quarry, near Possum Brush. On the same day, the Department also issued Holcim an Official Caution for failing to implement the Noise and Blast Management Plan by not undertaking quarterly noise monitoring for one quarter during 2016 at the Jandra Quarry. Environmental monitoring requirements are defined in management plans and required to be implemented to ensure that the impacts of extractive industries are quantified and managed to minimise harm to the natural environment and local communities. Holcim have since commenced routine monitoring as per the requirements of the environmental management plans.
On 9 February 2018, the Department issued an Official Caution to J.R Richards Waste Management Services Pty Ltd (J.R Richards) for breaches of the Euchareena Road exclusion zone allowable travel hours as described in the Transport Code of Conduct for the Orange Waste Project. The exclusion zone aimed to avoid conflicts and public safety issues with other road users. Ten breaches were recorded in the 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017 reporting period and one breach in the 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016 reporting period. J.R Richards has now established warning zones and audible alarms in the trucks to prevent further breaches
On 9 February 2018, the Department issued an Official Caution to Civil and Allied Technical Construction Pty Ltd (Catcon) for failing to upgrade the intersection of Gillinghall and Goolma Roads prior to the commencement of construction. The Department’s investigation identified that construction activities had commenced on site and the intersection upgrade had not been completed. Without the road upgrade, there were potential safety and capacity issues at the intersection. The intersection upgrade works have commenced and are planned to be completed in March 2018.
On 28 February 2018, the Department issued an Official Caution to the NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) for breaching its consent by failing to pay the Vegetation Offset Bond for the Rockley Falls quarry project. The purpose of the bond is to ensure that vegetation offsets are implemented in accordance with the Landscape Management Plan (LMP). An investigation found that the quarry had ceased operation several years ago, that the RMS had not paid the bond, and had not complied with aspects of the LMP. RMS is currently taking steps to pay the outstanding bond and finalise the rehabilitation plans for the site.
On 2 March 2018, the NSW Land and Environment Court (Court) issued a $107,000 fine to Shoalhaven Starches Pty Ltd (Shoalhaven Starches) and required them to publish details of the offence in the media. Shoalhaven Starches was convicted of four offences of failing to disclose political donations when making planning applications to modify a major project approval for works at their Bomaderry plant. Shoalhaven Starches had pleaded guilty to failing to disclose a total of twelve political donations, totalling $23,355, made by one of its directors to various political parties between March 2013 and November 2014. Shoalhaven Starches was required to declare relevant political donations at the time of lodging each of the modification applications, in accordance with section 147 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The Court has proposed changes for the company’s consideration regarding its internal processes for the reporting of political donations in the future.
On 1 March 2018, the Department issued a $15,000 penalty notice to Murphy McCarthy and Associates Pty Ltd (MMA), a subcontractor for the M4 East WestConnex project for using local roads in Haberfield in breach of the approval. On 8 November 2017, a truck belonging to MMA was observed parked in front of Haberfield Public School, contrary to the approval. Use of local roads for construction vehicles is limited to protect the safety of communities. The joint venture partners have since reiterated to their contractors that only approved routes are to be used for heavy vehicle movements.
On 6 March 2018, the Department issued a $6000 penalty notice to Doltone House Wharf Pty Ltd (Doltone House) for breaching the approved delivery hours (Mon - Sat 7:30am-6pm) at their Jones Bay Wharf function venue. Restrictions on operating and delivery hours are in place to protect the amenity of the local residents. On Wednesday 29 November 2017, deliveries were made to Doltone House between approximately 10:40pm and 10:50pm. The Department will continue to monitor the facility to ensure that conditions of consent are adhered to.
On 7 March 2018, the Department issued a $15,000 penalty notice to Civil and Allied Technical Construction Pty Ltd (Catcon), the contractor responsible for civil works at the Bodangora Wind Farm project. On 11 October 2017, a failure of controls resulted in a temporary road being constructed through an Aboriginal heritage site that had been identified for protection, resulting in harm to the site. Catcon and the proponent have been discussing options for remediation of the site with the local registered Aboriginal groups and a plan has been developed. The Department will continue to monitor negotiations to ensure that remediation is adequate.
On 23 March 2018, the Department issued a $15,000 penalty notice to Shopping Centres Australasia (SCA) Property Group Re Limited for exceeding the noise criteria at the Cabarita mixed-use development, which incorporates a Woolworths store. Noise testing conducted in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 at the development, recorded exceedances of the noise criteria on each occasion. SCA implemented some noise attenuation on plant and machinery during this time in an attempt to reduce the noise, however the noise attenuation was not successful at ensuring compliance with the noise limits. The Department is currently seeking a resolution to ensure the noise limits are met.
On 20 March 2018, the Department issued an Official Caution to Tarrawonga Coal Pty Ltd (TCPL) for failing to undertake annual road noise monitoring for the 2017 calendar year, as required by the mine’s Noise Management Plan. The mine’s Noise Management Plan requires road noise monitoring to be undertaken on a six-monthly basis to assess cumulative noise impacts from the Tarrawonga and Rocglen coal mine’s transport activities against road noise criteria. Upon becoming aware of the breach, TCPL notified the Department and engaged an external contractor to undertake road noise monitoring, which found road noise was within criteria at the time of monitoring. TCPL has since made improvements to systems to minimise the risk of future breaches.
On 20 March 2018, the Department issued an Official Caution to Whitehaven Coal Mining Limited (Whitehaven), operators of Rocglen Mine, for failing to undertake annual road noise monitoring for the 2017 calendar year as required by the approval. The mine’s Noise Management Plan requires road noise monitoring to be undertaken on a six-monthly basis to assess cumulative noise impacts from the Rocglen and Tarrawonga coal mines transport activities against road noise criteria. Upon becoming aware of the breach, Whitehaven notified the Department and engaged an external contractor to undertake road noise monitoring, which found road noise was within criteria at the time of monitoring. The mine has since made improvements to systems to minimise the risk of future breaches.
On 22 January 2018, the Department issued a $15,000 Penalty Notice to Springvale Coal Pty Ltd (Springvale Coal) for damage to vegetation between 28 August to 1 September 2017 in Sunnyside Swamp, which is classified as an endangered ecological community (EEC). Springvale Coal had failed to adequately identify the EEC in the Land Disturbance Permit issued to the contractor undertaking vegetation clearing works under the powerline located on the Newnes Plateau, and as a result failed to implement measures that would have prevented the clearance of EEC vegetation. Springvale Coal has committed to undertaking remediation of the swamp to remedy the damage.
On 25 January 2018, the Department issued an Official Caution and two $15,000 Penalty Notices to Sell and Parker Pty Ltd (Sell & Parker). A Penalty Notice was issued for not storing fuels, oils and chemicals in appropriately bunded areas on site. These conditions are to prevent potential pollutants leaving site and entering the adjacent creek. Sell & Parker have since taken appropriate actions to remedy these breaches.
A further Penalty Notice was issued to Sell & Parker for not preparing a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) to the satisfaction of the Secretary prior to commencing construction activities on site. This condition is to ensure that appropriate management systems are in place to prevent potential environmental harm due to construction activities. A CEMP has since been prepared to the satisfaction of the Secretary.
The Department also issued an Official Caution to Sell & Parker for failing to implement and maintain adequate erosion and sediment controls at the site. The Department is continuing to monitor the site to ensure that the approved CEMP is implemented and that Sell & Parker comply with all conditions of consent.
On 25 January 2018, the Department issued a $3000 Penalty Notice to Champions Quarry 2 Pty Ltd (Champions) for providing false and misleading information as part of the Modification 3 assessment. Champions provided the Department with a misleading remittance advice indicating they had paid the assessment fee, when at that time the payment had not been transferred to the Department. The assessment fee has subsequently been paid in full.
On 23 January 2018, the Department issued an Official Caution to Aus-10 Rhyolite Pty Limited (Aus-10) for failing to undertake noise monitoring at their Austen Quarry in accordance with the consent. The consent conditions required noise monitoring to be undertaken every 6 months, however it was undertaken every 12 months. Aus-10 have committed to undertaking an additional round of noise monitoring in the current 12-month monitoring period.
In 2015, the Department prepared a report on its investigation into the impacts of longwall mining at the Dendrobium Coal Mine.
In 2015, the Department commissioned an independent noise assessment of the Mt Thorley and Warkworth coal mines around Bulga Village.
The Leard State Forest coal mining complex is located near the township of Boggabri in north western NSW and is made up of the Maules Creek, Boggabri and Tarrawonga coal mines.
In 2017/18, the Department’s compliance officers undertook 36 inspections of wind and solar farms to monitor compliance with conditions of approval. The wind and solar farms inspected were generally found to be constructing or operating in accordance with their conditions of approval. A Fact Sheet outlining the program can be found below:
In 2015, the Department’s Compliance Officers conducted a review of the progression of work to mitigate impacts on scenery at four wind farms. The review found the work undertaken was generally satisfactory and in accordance with the approved management plans. A summary report can be found below.
In 2012, the Department conducted an audited conditions of consent at four operational wind farms in the NSW southern tablelands.
The NSW government has announced the outcomes of an independent compliance audit of three wind farms - Cullerin Range, Capital and Woodlawn - located in the local government areas of Upper Lachlan, Palerang and Goulburn-Mulwaree.
It has also released a report on the outcomes of community consultation in regard to this audit.
The audit found the wind farms met noise limits but breached approval conditions on a range of other issues. The Department of Planning & Environment would like to thank all community members and the wind farm operators who assisted with this audit.
In 2015, the Department audited 19 of the 28 approved sand quarries in New South Wales.
In 2015 the department inspected four quarries in the mid central west region.
In 2016 the department inspected four quarries to ensure compliance with the conditions of consent.
In 2015 the Department inspected four different industry operations in the Wollongong region.
In 2015 the Department inspected 25 facilities that handle, store or process potentially hazardous substances.
Page last updated: 15/08/2018