The Nature Conservation Council of NSW has welcomed the Coalition’s announcement of increased
measures for securing agricultural land and water resources against mining impacts. However,
concerns remain about whether the Strategic Regional Land Use policy goes far enough in protecting
the state’s waterways, air quality and natural habitat from the growing impacts of mining activities.
“The Coalition’s period of ‘greater caution’ in mining and gas exploration licences provides a prime
opportunity for finding the best way of protecting natural areas and human communities from the
destructive impacts of the unprecedented expansion in coal and gas exploration and mining taking
place across NSW,” Nature Conservation Council of NSW Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke said
“Tighter controls of proposed mines and gas fields and active monitoring of waterways are all part of
the solution, but they will only be effective if the groundwork is laid with strong strategic planning that
avoids mining development in our water supply catchments and places of high conservation value.
“The next NSW government should identify water supplies and areas of high environmental or
agricultural value that are particularly vulnerable to the threat of mining impacts and make them
permanently off‐limits to open cut and long wall mining and coal seam gas extraction. Sydney’s
drinking water catchment and state conservation regions should be high priority areas for permanent
“We must also not forget the health and wellbeing of residents and natural areas in regions affected by
existing mining and gas projects. The NSW Environment Hotline received 1460 complaints in 2009‐10
in the Hunter region alone about air, noise and water pollution incidents from mining operations.
Closer scrutiny of existing mining and gas operations to ensure we can have confidence that human
health and the environment is safe from harm,” he said.