The Resources Regulator announced that it was going on a statewide blitz of the NSW mining sector and its adherence to compliance obligations ranging from work health and safety to mine site rehabilitation.
Environmentalists and residents action groups were convinced the regulator would come back with a litany of mine site offences on the scale of the Banking Royal Commission, which has led to several high profile banking and insurance chiefs fall on their swords.
A total of 80 inspectors and regulatory officers from the safety, environment and compliance teams visited 109 mine sites across the state last week in the largest operational deployment of personnel and resources ever conducted by the Resources Regulator.
The operation generally found good compliance with legislative obligations.
However, a number of issues were identified at a small number of sites - in particular in relation to plant and equipment - resulting in 28 prohibition notices being issued at 12 sites.
A further 35 "improvement notices" and 33 "notices of concern" were issued in relation to WHS requirements, while eight potential breaches of the Mining Act were identified for investigation.
Resources Regulator deputy secretary Lee Shearer said overall, standards being upheld by operators across the NSW mining industry were positive, with inspectors finding generally good compliance rates in relation to rehabilitation activities and work health and safety obligations.
"Unfortunately, there were a small number of operators who fell short of expectations and this was addressed by enforcement action," she said.
Hogsback reckons the result of the blitz show the NSW industry is not only world class in productivity and innovation but also for the most part complying with some of the highest standards in the world.
It is far better to have coal exported from NSW and Queensland than risk coal being sourced from nations with a dubious environmental record.