Mine rehabilitation, News, Safety processes, Safety regulation

NSW shifts safety compliance priorities

mine safety management system, NSW compliance

The New South Wales Resources Regulator has released a set of new compliance priorities to elevate mine safety and mine rehabilitation standards across the state.

A compliance campaign will begin in the second half of 2024, aiming to target several key areas including:

  • risk management and supervision in open cut coal mines
  • airborne contaminants in metalliferous mines
  • mobile plant work platform attachments
  • revegetation, surface and groundwater management, and tailings dam management, and
  • compliance with exploration licence conditions, including community consultation and rehabilitation signoff.

The Resources Regulator executive director Peter Day said the priorities have been developed in response to incidents and feedback from industry and the community, with rehabilitation arising as a major focus.

“By listening to industry and analysing incident data, we can implement targeted strategies that enhance operational safety, protect the environment, and promote sustainable practices across the resources sector,” Day said.

“Our inspectors work hard every day, attending mine training days and pre-shift briefings to educate workers and reduce the number of incidents on mine sites.

“Mining is a temporary use of the land which is why the Regulator’s focus on rehabilitation is so important. We are working directly with mine operators and inspecting sites to ensure everyone is aware of their obligations in achieving sustainable rehabilitation outcomes.”

The Resources Regulator sets out its key priorities and proactive assessment programs every six months to ensure inspectors and industry are working collaboratively.

The latest NSW Budget includes $13.6 million over four years for mine rehabilitation.

Day said regularly publishing the Regulator’s priorities ensures best practice for industry.

“This commitment not only fosters a culture of accountability but also ensures that workers are protected, creating a safer and more efficient working environment on site,” Day said.

“This also reminds mining operators of their obligations and promotes voluntary compliance.

“Mine rehabilitation is essential for ensuring that land used for mining activity is made safe, stable and sustainable. The Regulator’s focus on Rehabilitation will ensure operators are aware of their obligations under the Mining Act.”

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