In 2012, the NSW Government introduced the Strategic Regional Land Use Policy to better manage the potential conflicts arising from the proximity of mining and coal seam gas (CSG) activity to our high quality agricultural land, in some parts of the state.

Since the introduction of the Policy, the Government has introduced a range of initiatives to safeguard over five million hectares of residential and strategic agricultural land across the State from these activities. Initiatives include:

  • introduction of the Gateway process which introduces an upfront, scientific assessment of State significant mining and coal seam gas proposals on the State's strategic agricultural land
  • establishment of the independent Mining and Petroleum Gateway Panel, comprising experts in the fields of hydrogeology, mining and petroleum, and agricultural science, to oversee the Gateway process
  • introduction of coal seam gas exclusion zones which prohibit coal seam gas activity in and within 2 kilometres of residential areas across the State, and the North West and South West Growth Centres of Sydney
  • Strategic Regional Land Use Plans for the Upper Hunter and New England North West regions of the State have been released.

These initiatives complement the following:

  • A new Land and Water Commissioner focusing on developing land access arrangements between land holders and CSG companies
  • An Aquifer Interference Policy that licenses the amount of water taken from underground water sources and minimises the impact on aquifers
  • Codes of practice for well integrity and fracture stimulation to further strengthen the controls applying to exploration and production
  • An independent review of coal seam gas activity by the Chief Scientist and Engineer.

For further information, read about the Gateway Process.