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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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About Us

The Department’s Compliance team works with communities, local councils across NSW, as well as state and federal government agencies, to ensure state significant development (SSD) and state significant infrastructure (SSI) projects across the state meet conditions of their approval.


These conditions often include the need to regularly monitor, audit and report on compliance. It may also include the need to commission independent experts to audit compliance, assess and recommend improvements to environmental performance.


We also educate companies on our compliance work, investigate potential breaches, and carry out necessary enforcements. These can take the form of negotiating practical solutions to issuing penalty notices and criminal prosecutions.


How compliance checks are completed

The compliance team carries out a range of activities to make sure companies are meeting the strict conditions placed on their projects. This includes:

  • carrying out spot checks and unannounced visits to projects, including surveillance;
  • carrying out audits and programs;
  • meetings with the community and industry to understand issues; and
  • investigating complaints.


If a company is found to have breached its conditions, our compliance officers take enforcement and other actions including:

  • prosecution for the most serious offences;
  • issuing fines;
  • issuing official cautions; and
  • negotiating practical solutions.


Compliance checks are conducted through:

  • Announced and unannounced inspections as well as surveillance
  • Targeted audits and programs involving other regulators where relevant
  • Reviewing reports including annual and independent environmental reports
  • Remote monitoring using drones and aerial photography


Enforcements that can be applied if there is a breach.


Depending on the significance of the breach, enforcements include:

  • Penalty notices between $3,000 and $15,000
  • Prosecutions, with the most severe breaches attracting fines up to $5million and criminal convictions.

Page last updated: 03/09/2019