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Independent Expert Advisory Panel for Mining

Independent Expert Advisory Panel

The Independent Expert Advisory Panel for Mining has been established to give the department and the Independent Planning Commission of NSW (IPC) access to world's-best scientific advice when we assess 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 give the department or the IPC technical advice on development applications, post-approval matters and policy relating to the assessment and management of environmental impacts associated with mining across NSW.

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

The chair manages any conflicts of interest when appointing members to give advice.

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 (Interim Chair)

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.

Emeritus Professor Joan Esterle 

Emeritus Professor Esterle is the Chair of the Vale University of Queensland (UQ) Coal Geosciences program. Her research interests vary but focus on how geological history impacts on coal measures’ behaviour during mining processing and utilisation. She received her PhD from the University of Kentucky, USA in 1990. She worked for 17 years with CSIRO, followed by GeoGAS-Runge Group before joining the UQ full time in 2010. She has developed 3D models for the distribution of sedimentary strata that can be used to predict geohazards in coal mines or reservoir behaviour in conventional and non-conventional gas resources, and for CO2 geosequestration. In addition to working with Vale and other industry partners, she has conducted multi-client studies funded through the Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP), the Australian National Low Emissions Coal Research (ANLECRD), the UQ Centre for Natural Gas (CNG), and the Australian Research Council (ARC). From 2016-2019 she served on the Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development.

Nathan Garvey

Nathan is an experienced ecologist with over 20 years' practice in ecological assessment and approvals across eastern Australia. Nathan holds a Bachelor of Science and Graduate Diploma in Biological Science from the University of NSW and is a Certified Environmental Practitioner and a BAM accredited assessor. Nathan has delivered projects across a diverse range of sectors including mining, oil and gas, linear infrastructure, renewable energy and residential development. Nathan is practitioner of biodiversity assessment and approvals, including biodiversity assessment for major projects and EPBC Act referrals. He has strong expertise and experience in the assessment impacts to biodiversity arising from subsidence, including impacts to groundwater dependent ecosystems, and is one of NSW's leading experts in biodiversity approvals and offsetting. His services are actively sought by public and private sector clients.

Professor Rae Mackay

Emeritus Professor Rae Mackay is Executive Chair of the Victoria's Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority. He has over 40 years of experience as a practicing engineer, hydrologist and academic. Before his current role he was 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. He 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 Tim A. Moore

Tim A. Moore is the Managing Director of Cipher Consulting Pty Ltd., specialising in the understanding of, and exploration for, organic-rich sediments, including coal, coalbed methane and shale gas. He holds the positions of Adjunct Professor at the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Australia as well as Distinguished Visiting Professor at China University of Mining and Technology in both Beijing and Xuzhou. Tim has also been Vice-President, Technical and Indonesian Country Manager for Arrow Energy International; Principal Advisor – Subsurface for Sinopec Oil & Gas Australia Pty Ltd., Principal Geologist/Asset Geologist for Origin Energy Ltd., Chief Geologist & Senior Advisor for Ephindo Energy Ltd. (Indonesia) and Senior Advisor for Dart Energy Ltd. (Singapore). Tim was also Manager for Research and Development for Solid Energy New Zealand as well as Consulting Manager for CRL Energy Ltd. in Christchurch, New Zealand. He was Head of the Coal Section for the Wyoming State Geological Survey from 1992 to 1994. He has acted as an Expert Witness for international arbitrations and for civil and criminal cases. He is also on the Editorial Boards of the International Journal of Coal Geology, Indonesian Journal on Geoscience and Mongolian Geoscientist. Tim has over 270 papers in internationally refereed journals, reports and abstracts.  

Mr Garry Mostyn

Garry Mostyn graduated from the University of New South Wales in civil engineering in 1973.  He completed a master's degree in geotechnical engineering at UNSW and a bachelor's degree in geology and statistics at Macquarie University.  He worked as a cadet and engineer with the NSW Department of Public Works and with consulting geotechnical engineers from 1970 until 1986.  He joined the School of Civil Engineering at the University of New South Wales as a senior lecturer in civil and environmental engineering practice and geotechnical engineering.  He returned to consulting at PSM in 1997 as a Principal and has been an Adjunct Associate Professor at UNSW.  He remains a Senior Principal and Director at PSM.

Associate Professor Lucy Reading

Lucy Reading is an Associate Professor of Hydrogeology at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). She has completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours) at QUT and a PhD in Environmental Engineering at the University of Queensland. Dr Reading now specialises in setting up groundwater monitoring networks with communities, assessing groundwater and surface water resources (quantity and quality) and assessing impacts of mining activities on groundwater. Lucy has over 20 years of experience in groundwater investigations, including roles with the University of Queensland and the Queensland Government. 

Mr John Ross

John Ross is a Senior Principal Hydrogeologist with over 40 years’ experience specialising in water resource, site contamination, infrastructure and natural resource management. John has held specialist management roles in public and private corporations and environmental consultancies. He has a Bachelor of Science (Geology) and a Certificate in Engineering Hydrology and Groundwater Hydrology.

John provides technical hydrogeological expertise and advice across the spectrum of water resource development, environmental/water planning, assessment and management projects, including environmental impact assessments, environmental audits and technical peer reviews, monitoring programs, remedial action plans, and groundwater licensing. John also has extensive experience in community and regulatory consultation across the eastern seaboard.

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 (UNSW). 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. Before his current position he was a lecturer and researcher at UNSW specialising in geotechnical and geo-environmental engineering.

Professor David Waite

David Waite is a Scientia Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of New South Wales. Professor Waite obtained his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has served as the Head of the Department of Water Engineering (1993-1999), Director of the Centre for Water and Waste Technology (1993-2006), Head of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering (2007-2013) and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Engineering (2013-2018) at UNSW. His principle research areas are that of investigation of physico-chemical processes in natural and engineered systems and biogeochemical transformation and fate of contaminants. Professor Waite is the CEO of the UNSW Centre for Transformational Environmental Technologies (CTET) and is an Associate Editor of the journal Environmental Science & Technology. He was honoured with international membership of the US National Academy of Engineering in 2018 for his distinguished service to 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 coal seam gas projects across regional NSW.

Professor Dianne Wiley

Professor Wiley is a chemical engineer who is currently the Dean of Engineering at Newcastle University. She holds a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of New South Wales and was previously the Head of School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Sydney from 2016. Professor Wiley is a recognised world leader in the assessment of a broad range of technologies for carbon capture and storage and membrane systems for water and wastewater treatment applications. She is also a board member for Coal Innovation NSW in addition to being an author and co-author of many academic publications including journals, book chapters, international conferences and reports. Professor Wiley has been appointed to the panel to provide advice on greenhouse gas matters.

Dr Ray Williams

Dr Williams is a coal mine gas management and coal seam gas utilisation expert. He has extensive experience in coal seam gas related work spanning over 49 years, which included founding GeoGAS consulting and laboratory services for the underground coal mining and coal seam gas industry. Dr Williams completed a BSc and PhD in Geology from the University of Newcastle. His experience in the industry includes gas reservoir definition, gas production assessment and modelling for coal mine gas management and coal seam methane production, laboratory gas testing, gas emission assessment for coal mine gas management and gas outburst assessment and management. Dr Williams has been appointed to the panel to provide advice on greenhouse gas matters.

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 and 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.