The NSW Government has recently released a number of draft plans, policies and guidelines that deliver on its Strategic Regional Land Use Policy. This Policy aims to protect high quality agricultural land and water resources from the impact of mining and petroleum projects.
Significantly, all State significant mining and petroleum proposals on or within 2km of strategic agricultural land will be considered under an independent gateway assessment and will require a gateway certificate before a development application may be lodged.
While the Policy is aimed at protecting strategic agricultural land from coal and petroleum projects, and will clearly have a significant impact on these industries, proponents of other State significant development and infrastructure projects on or near strategic agricultural land should familiarise themselves with the Policy as such projects may be affected by the Guideline for Agricultural Impact Statements. In circumstances where the project will interfere with groundwater or an aquifer, the Aquifer Interference Policy will also be relevant.
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