NSW Govt prioritises mining sector safety in 2021–22 Budget

Friday, 25 June, 2021

NSW Govt prioritises mining sector safety in 2021–22 Budget

The NSW Government has prioritised the safety and stability of the mining sector in the 2021–22 Budget, by doubling down on the protection of workers, communities and the environment. Deputy Premier and Minister Responsible for Mining John Barilaro said the NSW Government will invest more than $100 million in the 2021–22 financial year, to help the mining sector drive prosperity in regional NSW, through safe and sustainable development.

Barilaro said a number of initiatives will be delivered with a focus on attracting investment and forging a path for high-tech metals and critical minerals that will result in new projects, accelerate local economic growth, support jobs, and ensure vibrant regional cities and towns.

Barilaro added that the NSW Government will also continue to strengthen protections for workers and ensure license holders meet their obligations to protect communities and the environment, while working to remediate historic and abandoned mine sites across the state. The NSW Government has committed $33.6 million to pay for the regulation of mine safety in relation to work, health and safety compliance and enforcement, to ensure workers return safely to their families at the end of the day and licence holders fulfil their responsibilities.

With more than $100 million included in the 2021–22 Budget, remediation works will now be carried out across 10 years at higher-risk historic and abandoned mine sites in regional NSW, primarily in locations where production ceased between 50 and 100 years ago. Barilaro predicts that remediation at these locations will increase safety, reduce impacts to the environment and reinvigorate land for other possible uses, such as for community parklands, to create tourist attractions and accommodate select business operations. The NSW Government has also invested $9.2 million to carry out regular compliance inspections and investigate instances of non-compliance of the Mining Act 1992.

“The state of mining in NSW is rock solid — through the challenges of recent years, the sector kept people employed and economies going, and while coal isn’t going anywhere soon, it’s time to consider the mineral opportunities that lie ahead. The global race is on to locate the critical minerals and high-tech metals, such as the copper, cobalt and nickel that we will need to manufacture electric vehicles, batteries, mobile phones and other future technologies, and NSW has a significant mineral endowment,” said Barilaro.

The $2.2 million Round Four of the New Frontiers Cooperative Drilling Program will remove funding barriers for explorers, while the state’s first Critical Minerals Strategy will be developed to unlock potential and make NSW a leading supplier.

“Delivered with the state’s continued program to map mineral deposits through large-scale pre-competitive data acquisition and the support of a new Investment Development team, these initiatives will help to make NSW the number one destination for mining investment,” said Barilaro.

The NSW Government has also set aside $34.5 million to grow investment in mining and exploration, through geoscientific data, promotion of the state’s resources and further research into coal innovation technology. A further $13.2 million will deliver robust assessment of exploration and mining titles applications, rollout and enhancement of the Titles Management System, and calculation of royalties.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Tanes

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