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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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Independent Advisory Panel

The Independent Advisory Panel for Underground Mining (the Panel) has been established to provide the Department and the Independent Planning Commission of NSW (IPC) with access to world-best scientific advice when assessing underground coal mining proposals under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.


The establishment of the panel is consistent with the recommendation made by the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer’s Independent Expert Panel for Mining in the Catchment.


Terms of Reference

When requested, the Panel will provide technical advice to the Department or the IPC on development applications and post-approval matters relating to the assessment and management of subsidence impacts associated with underground mining across NSW.


The panel is comprised of an independent chair and experts in the fields of mining engineering and subsidence, surface water, groundwater and swamp hydrology and ecology.


View the Terms of Reference (PDF, 122KB)


The chair is responsible for managing any conflicts of interest when appointing members to provide advice.


View the Conflict of Interest Policy (PDF, 174KB)


Panel Members

Emeritus Professor Jim Galvin (Chair)


Professor Galvin is an Emeritus Professor (University of New South Wales) in Mining Engineering and former member of the NSW Planning Assessment Commission. Professor Galvin is one of the world’s foremost experts on underground coal mining and subsidence and has extensive experience in geomechanics, mine management and risk management. He was a member of the Independent Panel for the Southern Coalfield Inquiry (2008), several subsequent reviews of mining projects in the Southern Coalfield and most recently, Chair of the Independent Expert Panel on Mining in the Catchment.


Professor Bruce Hebblewhite

Bruce Hebblewhite is the Professor of Mining Engineering at the University of New South Wales. He has over 45 years of international mining experience, specialising in the fields of underground mining systems, geomechanics, mine safety and risk management. He has held senior positions with Australian Coal Industry Research Laboratories, has served 25 years at the University of New South Wales including 12 years as the Head of Mining Engineering, and was also the Secretary General of the international Society of Mining Professors.


Professor Rae Mackay

Emeritus Professor Rae Mackay is currently Executive Chair of the Victoria's Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority. He has over 40 years of experience as a practicing engineer, hydrologist and academic. Prior to his current role he was as the Latrobe Valley Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner. Professor Mackay was also a member of the Victoria Technical Review Board, which had oversight of ground stability issues across the state’s mines and quarries, and served 15 years as the Head of Hydrology at Birmingham University in the United Kingdom.


Professor Neil McIntyre

Neil McIntyre is Professor of Water Resources at The University of Queensland and holds an MSc and PhD from Imperial College London. He specialises in the field of surface hydrology and has focussed on researching water security and impacts of mining on hydrology and water quality. His advisory roles have included serving on the Institution of Civil Engineer’s Water Expert Panel (UK), the Steering Committee of the Commonwealth Leading Practice Sustainable Development Program, and the Independent Expert Panel for Mining in the Catchment.


Dr Lucy Reading

Dr Lucy Reading is a groundwater scientist and senior lecture in groundwater systems and environmental science at the Queensland University of Technology. She has completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours) and a PhD in Environmental Engineering. Dr Reading now specialises in groundwater modelling, soil and water chemistry and impacts of coal mining and coal seam gas on groundwater. Lucy has also held roles with the University of Queensland and the Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management.


Dr Gareth Swarbrick

Dr Gareth Swarbrick is principal geotechnical engineer at a design consultancy specialising in the assessment and prediction of subsidence impacts from underground mining. He has completed a PhD in geotechnical engineering from the University of New South Wales. Dr Swarbrick is currently the technical advisor to the Supervising Scientist on the closure of Ranger Uranium mine and was the co-author of the Dendrobium height of fracturing study. Prior to his current position he was a lecturer and researcher at UNSW specialising in geotechnical and geo-environmental engineering.


Liz Webb

Liz Webb is a Principal Hydrogeologist at a consultancy and has over 27 years of national and international experience in hydrology and water management. Liz has a BSc and ME in Hydrogeology and has extensive experience in assessing impacts of open cut and underground coal mines. Liz is a current member of the Springvale Independent Monitoring Panel and has previously played a key water science advisory and consultation role for the NSW Land and Water Commissioner in relation to mining and CSG projects across regional NSW.


Dr Ann Young

Dr Young is a retired academic who worked at the University of Wollongong's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Her PhD was a seminal study into the upland swamps on the Woronora Plateau. Between 2006-2017, she made submissions to the NSW Government on the environmental assessment of underground coal mining and, for some of that time, was a member of Community Consultative Committees at the Dendrobium and Russell Vale mines. She was appointed to the NSW Government’s Independent Expert Panel for Mining in the Catchment.

Page last updated: 01/10/2020