26 September 2023

Water study tapped in for Sydney

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The Minister for Planning and Public Spaces has announced better protections, stronger assessment and more environmental offsets to ensure Sydney’s drinking water supply is safeguarded.

The Minister, Rob Stokes said all 50 recommendations from the independent expert panel led by the office of the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer had been accepted.

“We want to ensure we have every measure in place to protect Sydney’s water supply for generations to come,” Mr Stokes said.

“We’ve accepted all of the recommendations from the panel and have established an interagency taskforce to implement a detailed action plan throughout this year,” he said.

“These actions will improve our existing comprehensive assessment and monitoring of underground coal mining while providing certainty for both Sydney’s water supply and thousands of jobs across NSW.”

Mr Stokes said the action plan included the requirement of more offsetting from mining companies to ensure a net gain for the metropolitan water supply; the establishment of a new independent expert panel to advise on future mining applications in the catchment; and the adoption of a more stringent approach to the assessment and conditioning of future mining proposals to minimise subsidence impacts.

He said the action plan would also include strengthening surface and groundwater monitoring; improving access to and transparency of environmental data; and introducing a licensing regime to properly account for any water losses.

The Chief Scientist and Engineer’s report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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