The New South Wales (NSW) Government has released a proposed amendment to the Mining State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) that considers the significance of mined resources when determining mine projects.
According to Planning Minister Rob Stokes, the draft amendment requires decision makers to consider the likely environmental, social and economic impacts of a mining development.
Stokes said: "The protection of the environment and the promotion of the social and economic welfare of the community have always been objects of planning legislation."
"This proposed amendment reflects the importance of balance in assessing the likely impacts of mining developments."
NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said: "This is a retrograde step that will hurt NSW. It will put at risk thousands of current and potential jobs, particularly in regional mining communities where unemployment is often well above the state average.
"Getting the balance right is important, but you can't have viable communities and a clean environment without a strong economy."
According to Galilee, the proposal relegates the industry to uncertainty and put thousands of jobs that are hanging in the balance in NSW at risk.
The proposal is also expected to hurt regional mining communities, while eliminating a critical component designed to protect jobs.
Image: NSW's new draft amendment requires decision makers to consider the likely environmental and economic impacts of a mining development. Photo: courtesy of NSW Government.