THE state government has got it completely wrong when they have legislated to impose a mandatory strategic plan dictating to freehold landowners.
Firstly it is paramount to understand that each local council decides by way of the 1997 EPA Act through the preparing of its own Local Environment Plan (LEP), where you can farm and where you can mine.
Rural 1A of an LEP dictates that agriculture can be practiced without consent but mining needs consent.
The Narrabri council has just completed its LEP, which took nearly 10 years and we have said just that, agriculture does not need consent but mining does.
Land “use”, whether industrial, commercial, agricultural, environmental or residential, is the domain of your local council.
The state government can force the issue if they acquire your property under “compulsory acquisition” but in doing so they have to prove it’s in the public’s best interest to force such an acquisition.
My guess is if there is the slightest chance of any cross-aquifer water contamination by mining, that suggestion would blow “in the best interests of the public” literally out of the water.
For 170 years the management of land has been local governments’ domain. This “Johnny come lately” control factor called the “gateway” plan simply is a nothing when stacked up against 170 years of constitutional background of local government.
It is quite reasonable to accept that underground mining is safe to the public, healthwise, but open- cut coal mining and coal seam gas do have obvious problems.