extractive industries - environmental controls


Development proposals involving extractive industries usually require development consent under Part IV of the Environmental Planning and
Assessment Act 1979. The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (EPA) Regulation (Schedule 3) states that extractive industries are "designated development". This is defined in the list of designated developments as follows:

(n) extractive industries, being -

(i) the winning of extractive material not being coal, petroleum or any other material within the meaning of the Mining Act 1973; or
(ii) an industry or undertaking not being a mine, which depends for its operations on the winning of extractive material from the land upon which it
is carried on,
but not being extractive industries on land to which Sydney Regional Environmental Plan #11 - Penrith Lakes Scheme for the time being applies."

Therefore, new developments which require development consent and involve the winning or processing of extractive material such as sand,
gravel, clay, turf, soil, rock, stone or similar substances will be classed as "designated development" within the category of extractive industries.
The winning of minerals is classed as mining and is governed by the Mining Act 1973 (see list above). Coal, oil shale and petroleum are administered
under other legislation such as the Coal Mining Act and the Petroleum Act. The Mining Act directly covers the protection of the environment in
part VII, sections 117- 120.


Under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 1980 mining is defined as designated development in Schedule 3 as follows:

(ma) mining, being mining that causes the disturbance of the surface of land, where the total area of the surface of land disturbed is greater than
2 hectares, including any such disturbance caused by-

(i) the clearing or excavation of land
(ii) the placing of tailings, overburden or minerals on the land; or
(iii) the erection or construction of buildings or dams on the land.


There are more specific statutory controls in the Sydney Regional Environmental Plan #9 - Extractive Industry. The aims of the State Regional Outline
Plan are:

(i) facilitate the development of extractive resources in proximity to the population of the Sydney Metropolitan Area so that the cost of supplying
extractive materials to the community can be kept to a minimum.....

(ii) permit development for the purpose of extractive industries on certain lands
(iii) prohibit development for the purpose of extractive industries on certain lands; and
(iv) ensure that extractive industries are carried out in an environmentally acceptable manner.

The regional environmental plan makes extractive industry permissible with the consent of the local council on lands identified in the plan.
SREP #11 covers the Penrith Lakes Scheme.


Provides for the Minister to determine proposals for extractive industries in the local government areas of Camden, Campbelltown and Wollondilly.
The direction applies to development applications for designated development involving sand and soil extraction and does not apply to prohibited
development. Although it is uncertain, inactive mines and quarries which are not used for a period of more than 12 months may lose their development
rights under s107 and s109 of the EPA Act 1979. further, they may also lose "existing use" rights, if any.