New South Wales Premier promises to halve assessment time for mining projects

November 21, 2014

New South Wales Premier Mike Baird pledged to speed up the approval process for major infrastructure projects, including mines, by half, Australian Mining reported.

During the past six years the time it takes to have a new mine approved slowed to 1,000 days from 500 days. Speaking at a NSW Minerals Council Awards dinner, Baird said the government needed to make a change.

"I am tonight drawing a line in the sand on this. NSW must do better and I assure you we will," Baird said. "I commit to halving the assessment times for major projects during the next term of government."

Planning Minister Pru Goward detailed directions to the planning commission which implements time limits and works to appoint case managers from the premier’s department who will manage planning applications.

"The planning minister and I believe these immediate changes alone will deliver time frame savings of about 170 days for major projects," Baird said.

Baird also hit out at illegal protestors and said new legislation would “throw the book” at activists who entered mining sites.

The premier said it was unacceptable that mining companies were responsible for the safety of people who entered their sites illegally.
"For too long protesters have entered mining sites, illegally damaged equipment and disrupted activity and escaped serious penalties.

“What is even more galling for the industry is that current legislation puts the responsibility for the safety of trespassers who enter mining sites illegally on to mining companies and operators.

"We need legislation which provides a real deterrent to this unlawful behavior and protects businesses from illegal protesting activities.”
NSW Minerals Council chief Stephen Galilee said the changes would work to attract investment in the state.



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