Greens call for independent Authority to regulate mining in NSW

MEDIA RELEASE – 2 February 2015

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today announced the Greens policy for the establishment of an independent Mining and Petroleum Authority to take over the oversight of all approved mining developments in NSW from the Department of Resources and Energy, saying the community no longer trusts mining companies or the government to put agriculture and the environment ahead of their short-term commercial and political interests

“People know just how powerful big mining corporations are when it comes to influencing governments, and have witnessed the revolving door between government, bureaucracy, lobbyists and the mining industry. That is why NSW needs an independent authority to regulate mining and restore public trust,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“The Greens would establish an independent, well-resourced Mining and Petroleum Authority to take over the oversight of all approved mining developments from the Department of Resources and Energy and ensure they meet their ongoing legislative and regulatory requirements.

“The Department of Resources and Energy has an inherent conflict between its role promoting and facilitating the extractive industries and its role monitoring and enforcing compliance.

“This Authority should have strong powers to obtain information, prosecute non-compliance and recover costs from mining companies.”

“The establishment of such an Authority is imperative to the efficient, effective, transparent and accountable management of mining developments in the state.”

The functions of the Independent Authority would be to:

  • act as an independent and accountable body to ensure that all authorised mining or petroleum activities comply with any legislative and regulatory requirements,
  • co-ordinate the activities of all public authorities in respect of those requirements,
  • establish and maintain a register of authorised mining or petroleum activities, and any conditions to which their authorisation is subject, and to make that register publicly available,
  • investigate and report on alleged non-compliance with mining and petroleum legislation for the purposes of prosecutions or other regulatory action,
  • review the regulatory framework for mining and petroleum operations and advise on its effectiveness in the public interest,
  • educate public authorities, public officials and mining companies about their responsibilities with regard to authorised mining or petroleum activities,
  • manage, and proactively release to the public, all data collected according to legislative and regulatory requirements associated with water management, petroleum extraction and mining.

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

 

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