On 17 October 2013, the NSW Resources and Energy Minister Chris Hartcher announced significant amendments to the standard conditions for mining leases to reduce regulatory duplication. The amendments will result in the removal of conditions that that seek to address matters already regulated by other government departments, such as the Department of Planning. The amendments will also involve the deletion of conditions that are covered by obligations under the Mining Act and other mine safety legislation, as well as other conditions that have become outdated and redundant.
The removal of the duplications will cut the number of conditions for future standard coal mining leases in NSW from 24 to nine, and for other mining leases from 23 to eight. The NSW announcement comes a week after the Queensland government said it would streamline the approvals process for exploration permits for coal and mineral exploration.
NSW Resources and Energy Minister Chris Hartcher said the changes are part of a range of actions the Government is taking to minimise the costs of doing business in NSW and boost investment certainty. The NSW Government has already committed to new service delivery standards, reducing the times for assessing applications under the Mining Act from 1 July 2013. Target time frames for assessing all minerals applications will be cut to 45 business days (from 80 business days), while times for processing coal applications and coal renewals will be reduced to 95 business days and 55 business days respectively.