Proposals for mining, petroleum production and extractive material resources are assessed and developed in NSW under chapter 2 of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Resources and Energy) 2021, which is also known as the Resources and Energy SEPP. This SEPP includes the former State Environmental Planning Policy (Mining, Petroleum Production and Extractive Industries) 2007 – also known as the Mining SEPP.
Mining and petroleum prohibitions
We have introduced measures to give homes and agricultural land greater protection and to prevent mining and petroleum production in sensitive areas.
The Resources and Energy SEPP bans open-cut coal mining in several areas, including:
- the Dartbrook mine in the upper Hunter
- the site of the proposed Rocky Hill Coal Project near Gloucester
- the Drayton South exploration area near Jerrys Plains
- the Watermark exploration area in the Liverpool Plains
- Benelabri (Gunnedah local government area)
- Doyles Creek (Singleton local government area)
- Breeza (Muswellbrook local government area)
- Caroona (Liverpool Plains local government area)
Maps of all these areas are available on the NSW Planning Portal.
The Resources and Energy SEPP also bans petroleum exploration, petroleum production and petroleum-related works within 16 local government areas in the Central West and Orana, New England North West and Hunter regions. The changes do not apply to areas that could support future extensions to the Narrabri Gas Project.
These rules are in line with the NSW Government’s future of gas statement and the decision to reduce the areas where gas exploration is allowed.
Voluntary Land Acquisition and Mitigation Policy
The Voluntary Land Acquisition and Mitigation Policy (PDF, 3.5 MB) helps manage the effects of noise and dust from mining, petroleum and extractive industry projects classed as state-significant development.
Under Part 2.18 of the Resources and Energy SEPP, consent authorities must consider any applicable provisions (legal conditions) of the Voluntary Land Acquisition and Mitigation Policy before determining a state-significant development application for mining, petroleum production or extractive industries.
Preliminary regional issues assessment for potential coal and petroleum exploration release areas
The assessment is part of the government’s broader strategic release framework that allows for the controlled, strategic release and competitive allocation of coal and petroleum prospecting titles in NSW.
Read more about coal and petroleum exploration assessment.
Extraction Plan Guideline
State-significant mining development consents generally require applicants to prepare extraction plans and get approval before starting underground mining activities in areas already approved for mining.
The Extraction Plan Guideline (PDF, 586 KB) is part of the NSW Government’s broader Mining in the catchment action plan, which aims to standardise and improve the quality of mining company reports to the department.
Independent Panel for Mining in the Catchment
In February 2018, the NSW Government established the Independent Expert Panel for Mining in the Catchment to give expert advice on the effect of mining activities in the Greater Sydney Water Catchment Special Areas.
The panel submitted its final report in October 2019. The NSW Government has adopted all the panel’s recommendations and has established a new panel to give continued access to independent expert advice.
Read more about the Independent Expert Panel for Mining in the Catchment.