MEG administers the following NSW legislation and associated regulations to facilitate the efficient, safe and sustainable discovery and development of mineral and petroleum resources for the benefit of the New South Wales community:
Mining Act 1992
This Act and Regulation govern the granting, renewal and transfer of:
- exploration licences
- assessment leases
- mining leases
Exploration licences and assessment leases authorise exploration for minerals and coal, and assessment of prospective resources.
A mining lease authorises the mining of a mineral or coal resource. A mining lease cannot be granted until the mine proponent obtains development consent under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
The Mining Act 1992 and its regulations also deal with mineral claims, opal prospecting licences, protection of the environment, royalties and compensation to landholders.
Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991
The Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991 and its associated Petroleum (Onshore) Regulation 2016 govern the granting, renewal and transfer of Petroleum Titles in NSW. This includes exploration licences, assessment leases, special prospecting authorities and petroleum production leases.
A petroleum production lease cannot be granted, until the applicant has obtained other approvals including development consent under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
Petroleum (Offshore) Act 1982
The Petroleum (Offshore) Act 1982 and Petroleum (Offshore) Regulation 2016 pertain to the exploration and mining of petroleum resources of submerged lands adjacent to the coasts of New South Wales. The Petroleum (Offshore) Act and its regulation govern the granting, renewal and transfer of petroleum titles in NSW waters. This includes petroleum exploration licences, petroleum assessment leases, and petroleum production leases.
Further information regarding the above Acts is available at Legislation for NSW Mining Workplaces.
Work Health and Safety (WHS) Legislation
There are general work health and safety obligations that apply to mines, petroleum sites and related services sites. There are also additional WHS obligations which are designed to meet the special needs of the mining and petroleum industry.
MEG’s NSW Resources Regulator (“Regulator”) is the work health and safety regulator for NSW mines and petroleum sites and related sites.
The Regulator enforces the following WHS legislation for mines and petroleum and related services sites in New South Wales:
Mines and Petroleum Sites (MPS) WHS legislation
The Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Act 2013 (WHS(MPS) Act) establishes a framework for setting and assessing competence standards for people performing functions at mines and petroleum sites and related services sites. It also mandates specific work health and safety obligations for the mining and petroleum industry in New South Wales.
A new Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Regulation 2022 (WHS(MPS) Regulation) was published on 26 August 2022.
The provisions of the WHS(MPS) Regulation commenced on 1 September 2022, except for Section 89(1)(b) which commences on 1 September 2023 and Schedule 14 which commences on 1 September 2028.
The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 together with the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 regulate work health and safety (WHS) at all New South Wales worksites. Accordingly, the provisions of this Act and Regulation also apply at mines, petroleum sites and related sites.
Every person at a worksite has a duty to comply with WHS laws. This includes:
- a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU), such as an employer;
- an officer, such as a business owner or CEO or director;
- a worker or other person in the workplace.
The Regulator also has jurisdiction in respect of:
- the exploration, mining and processing of radioactive ore in NSW, pursuant to the Radiation Control Act 1990 and;
- work health and safety obligations as contained in the Explosives Act 2003 and associated regulations.
Further WHS information
Further information regarding work, health and safety, including Codes of Practice and WHS(MPS) Guidance is available at WHS Legislation
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