Big fines for miners who flout planning and environment laws

PENALTIES for mine operators who flout planning and environment laws will increase five-fold under proposed new legislation in New South Wales.

Planning Minister Rob Stokes said the change would allow the government to issue $15,000 on-the-spot fines to companies that breach their development permissions for high-impact industries such as mining, up from the current maximum of $3000.

"These conditions are crucial to striking the balance between the significant benefits major projects can bring in terms of job creation and investment, and minimising the likelihood of potential impacts on communities," Mr Stokes said.

Mr Stokes said the number of officers enforcing the laws would also increase, covering everything from coal seam gas projects to factories.

Impacts set out in the law include noise, dust, traffic, and waste and water management.

Court-imposed penalties for major breaches were increased from $1.1 million to $5 million in NSW last year.



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