The new state significant development process began on October 1, giving the state the go-ahead to address the backlog of mining projects waiting to be approved.
NSW Minerals Council chief executive officer Nikki Williams said the new planning system was a win for the state.
“The new state significant development process will mean that major project applications can now be submitted for assessment after six months of inaction,” Williams said.
“We’re still in a holding pattern as the 18-month review of the system is undertaken, but it’s good to see that major project proposals that have been in limbo for six months can now finally be submitted for assessment.”
However Williams said there was a lot of work ahead for the government to reduce the backlog of projects.
“There are still around 40 project applications and modifications being assessed under the old system,” she said.
“The government’s 2011 budget decision to resource the Department of Planning and Infrastructure’s major projects division with additional staff to work through this backlog was a good one.
“The roles must be filled as a matter of urgency to ensure that the backlog is cleared and the new process is implemented efficiently and effectively.”
ILN had anticipated the new planning announcement after a planning department spokesperson recently disclosed details of its October 1 introduction.
“It is anticipated that after that date, new mining proposals which meet the revised criteria to be considered of state significance will be able to be lodged with the department and progressed under the new system,” she said.
No new mining proposals have been declared as major projects since April 4, following the O’Farrell government’s decision to scrap Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment.