On Thursday 3 October, the NSW Government announced the Mining and Petroleum Gateway Panel, comprising independent scientific experts with expertise in the fields of agricultural science, hydrogeology and mining and petroleum development.
The Panel is an independent body constituted under the Mining SEPP. The six members of the Panel are:
Terry Short (Chairperson) - Agricultural scientist.
Professor Garry Willgoose – Groundwater expert.
George Gates, PSM – Groundwater expert.
Dr Ian Lavering – Geologist.
Brett Whelan – Agricultural scientist.
Dr Russell Frith – Mining engineer.
The Gateway Process and Panel are part of several elements of the NSW Government's Strategic Regional Land Use Policy.
The role of the Gateway assessment process is to identify potential impacts on valuable agricultural land and water resources from mining and coal seam gas (CSG) proposals before a development application (DA) can be lodged. Once identified, these impacts must be addressed in the DA.
The Gateway process will apply immediately to strategic agricultural land in the Upper Hunter and New England North West Regions. The NSW Government is currently inviting feedback on biophysical strategic agricultural land (BSAL) mapping for the remainder of the state (refer to item 18 in this Local Government Weekly). Once this mapping is finalised the Gateway process will also apply to this land.
In the meantime, a landholder, anywhere in the state, who has entered into an access agreement with a mining or CSG company, can have their site verified as BSAL through a site verification process (a protocol for site verification has been developed.)
Department of Planning and Infrastructure Information 1300 305 695
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