WaterNSW backs new panel to review catchment mining

WaterNSW backs new panel to review catchment mining

02 March 2018

WaterNSW strongly supports the NSW Government’s decision to establish an independent expert panel to advise on future longwall mining applications in the Sydney drinking water catchment’s sensitive Special Areas.

Protecting the designated Special Areas adjacent to, and including, Sydney’s main water supply dams is a paramount priority for WaterNSW.

The announcement of the expert panel is in response to the findings and recommendations of the NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s Height of Cracking Study at the Dendrobium Mine and the recent independent audit of the Sydney drinking water catchment.

WaterNSW has long-advocated for an independent expert panel to review the benchmarks government uses to assess mining proposals and align those standards with the most contemporary information available.

“WaterNSW looks forward to working with the independent expert panel to protect the quantity and quality of water in the Special Areas and to maintain the ecological integrity of lands around the storage areas,” a spokesperson for WaterNSW said.

“The potential for irreversible impacts of mining on the quality or quantity of water in sensitive areas of the Sydney drinking water catchment is a major concern for WaterNSW as catchment protectors.

“Key priority areas for WaterNSW include preventing unacceptable water losses from mining, ensuring mining has a neutral or beneficial impact on water quality and ensuring the health of watercourses and swamps is maintained.

“WaterNSW has a legislative obligation to protect water in Sydney’s drinking water catchment and actively advises planning authorities and mining companies on impact risks and remedial issues associated with mining in the Special Areas.

“Establishing an independent panel is consistent with WaterNSW’s view that the highest level of caution is required when considering applications for further longwall mining in the Special Areas. In doing so the government has appointed pre-eminent experts to recommend measures to improve water modeling, monitoring and impact assessment and to advise it on new mining applications in the Special Areas.”

WaterNSW has argued strongly and consistently for:

  • Performance measures consistent with community expectations about what levels of impact are considered acceptable;
  • Stringent monitoring conditions that will enable impacts to be clearly measured and assessed;
  • Dimensions of longwall mining panels designed to ensure that subsidence consequences are consistent with agreed performance measures.

Contact: Tony Webber

Phone: 0428 613 478


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