An aerial image of the open cut Clarence Sands quarry in the Newnes State Forest region of the Central Tablelands of New South Wales

The New South Wales Government has announced $37.7 million of additional funding for the state’s mining sector in the 2024-2025 State Budget. 

The investment aims to support mining communities, ensure rehabilitation of mines and support health and safety for mine workers in New South Wales,  

The funding includes $13.6 million over four years specifically for mine rehabilitation. 

The New South Wales Government said that mining is a temporary use of land and that the State Government is committed to ensuring the land is returned to a safe and stable condition when mining ends. 

In May 2024, New South Wales Minister for Natural Resources, Courtney Houssos, announced a Legislative Council inquiry into post-mine land use which aims to explore new and innovative uses of mining land.  

This funding package aims to increase dedicated regulatory resources to ensure compliance with rehabilitation requirements and provide support for local communities.  

Inspectors at the New South Wales Resources Regulator will oversee a projected increase in rehabilitation activities. The State Government said that this is particularly important at the state’s 39 coal mines, 32 of which are expected to close by 2040. 

The Resources Regulator will be supported with $1.6 million to monitor and enforce compliance for work health and safety requirements in the state’s mines.  

These announcements come as the New South Wales Government releases its model for the establishment of the Future Jobs and Investment Authorities for community consultation.  

Local authorities in the state’s four coal-producing regions are expected to play a central role inside the government to advocate for coal-producing communities.  

In addition, the New South Wales Government said that it is continuing to contribute $22.5 million to a statutory fund to support coal-producing communities for a future beyond coal, as part of its plan to build better communities and ensure the safety of mining workers and the protection of the environment. 

Image credit: Phillip Wittke/Shutterstock.com. 

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