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New rules will stop new mines being rejected due to climate change

Bylong Valley Coal Mine
Bylong Valley Coal Mine

An independent statutory body will not be allowed to use an environmental theory to prevent new mining projects from proceeding, if new laws are approved.

The New South Wales Government wants to stop the state’s Independent Planning Commission (IPC) from rejecting applications for mining activity, petroleum production and other resource extraction work due to the carbon emissions the product could produce abroad.

Overseas impact rejected

State Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes’ Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Territorial Limits) Bill bans the IPC from regulating “any impact of the development occurring outside Australia or any impact of development carried outside Australia”.

“[This will] remove the specific requirement to consider downstream greenhouse gas emissions in determining a development application for development for the purposes of mining, petroleum production or an extractive industry,” the bill said.

Although the amended legislation faced several months of delays due to bushfires, most of which were found to be deliberately lit, Stokes is confident it will being certainty to the industry once approved.

“The IPC will undergo a significant transformation to increase certainty and confidence in the way planning decisions are made, and ensure the system works better for everyone,” the minister said on Twitter.

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The state’s planning and environment committee will conduct an upper house inquiry and report back to the government no later than mid-March 2020.

IPC recently cited climate change as a top reason for rejecting the Korea Electric Power Corporation’s $2 billion Bylong Valley Coal Mine, 209 km northwest of Newcastle. As QMEB previously reported, the commission claimed the Korean government-backed project would “increase greenhouse gas emissions” and fail to help “rapid and deep reductions in greenhouse gases that are needed”.

Click here to read the full Bill.

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