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Compliance audits

The Department’s inspection and audit program focuses on individual projects and in some cases groups of projects. Priority is given to significant projects in sensitive environments, or those with a high-risk of non-compliance because of the nature of the project or the region in which the project is located.
Inspections and audits are generally carried out through one of the following categories:

  • strategic – to inform the Department’s assessment of proposed modifications to projects already approved
  • campaigns – groups of projects based on industry type, geographical location or impact type
  • ongoing – as part of the Department’s regular inspection program
  • reactive – in response to reports or complaints alleging non-compliance.

The Department conducted a number of compliance audits in 2016:

Audit fact sheets


The Department prepared a report on its investigation into the impacts of longwall mining at the Dendrobium Coal Mine. The report can be found below.

In 2015, the Department commissioned an independent noise assessment of the Mt Thorley and Warkworth coal mines around Bulga Village. Below is the report of the assessment:

We are currently upgrading our website and compliance audit documents will be uploaded soon. In the meantime, if you would like to view previous compliance audit documents, contact the Compliance team on 02 9228 6403 or email

In February 2015 the Department conducted an audit of biodiversity and Aboriginal cultural heritage management at the Leard Forest coal mines (Boggabri, Maules Creek and Tarrawonga coal mines). The audit led to $12,000 in fines being imposed on the three mines operating in the area. A summary report can be found below.

In early 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.

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.


For further information regarding the audit report please call 02 9228 2045.

Wind farm audit documents

Between May and August 2015 the Department's Compliance Officers audited 19 of the 28 approved sand quarries in New South Wales as part of a compliance audit program.

Please note: some of the PDFs on this page contain large amounts of rich content and may take some time to download.

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Page last updated: 08/05/2017