The New South Wales Government is now seeking feedback on a draft amendment policy proposed earlier this week, aiming to clarify approval criteria for upcoming mining projects.

The State Environmental Planning Policy (Mining, Petroleum Production and Extractive Industries) Amendment (Resource Significance) 2013 (the proposed SEPP) will provide guidelines as to how environmental, economic and amenity impacts are balanced during the approval process for development applications.

Expectations pertaining to noise limitations, dust control and aquifer interference will be stipulated in the proposed amendments to assist applicants in avoiding refusal, and size, quality and availability of the resource will become a primary consideration in the assessment process.

“While the assessment of major projects has always been about balancing their economic and employment significance against any potentially adverse impacts, there have been no clear guidelines as to how these issues should be balanced,” resource and energy minister Chris Hartcher said.

“The proposed amendments will increase certainty for investors by providing clear direction for both the industry and the community in the approval process, thereby enhancing the state’s attractiveness as an investment destination.”

Consultation on the proposed SEPP will close at 5pm on 12 August 2013.

For more information about the proposed SEPP, click here.