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PDF file
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Mining and Petroleum Legislation Amendment (Public Interest) Bill 2013

The object of this Bill is to make the public interest a ground (in addition to other grounds) for making any of the following decisions relating to mining or petroleum rights or titles:

(a) a decision to refuse to grant, renew or transfer a mining or petroleum right or title,

(b) a decision to refuse a tender for a mining right or title,

(c) a decision to cancel a mining or petroleum right or title, or to suspend operations under a mining or petroleum right or title (in whole or in part),

(d) a decision to restrict operations under a mining or petroleum right or title by the imposition or variation of conditions of the right or title.

The Bill will extend to pending applications for mining or petroleum rights or titles.

An Act to amend the Mining Act 1992 and the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991 to make the public interest a ground for certain decisions relating to mining or petroleum rights or titles.

Mining and Petroleum Legislation
Amendment (Public Interest) Bill 2013
New South Wales

Section 380A
Insert after section 380:

Public interest relevant ground for making certain decisions about mining
rights

(1) In this section, mining right means an exploration licence, an assessment
lease, a mining lease, a mineral claim or an opal prospecting licence.

(2) The public interest is a ground (in addition to any other available ground) on
which any of the following decisions may be made under this Act:

(a) a decision to refuse to grant, renew or transfer a mining right,

(b) a decision to refuse a tender for a mining right,

(c) a decision to cancel a mining right or to suspend operations under a mining right (in whole or in part),

(d) a decision to restrict operations under a mining right by the imposition or variation of conditions of a mining right.

(3) To avoid doubt, sections 127 (1) and 205 (1) extend to the cancellation of a mining right under this section.

(4) This section has effect despite anything to the contrary in this Act.

(5) This section applies to any decision made after the commencement of this section, including:

(a) a decision with respect to an application or other matter that was pending on that commencement, and

(b) a decision that is based on conduct that occurred, or on a matter that arose, before that commencement.


Section 24A
Insert after section 24

24A Public interest relevant ground for making certain decisions about petroleum titles

(1) The public interest is a ground (in addition to any other available ground) on
which any of the following decisions may be made under this Act:

(a) a decision to refuse to grant, renew or transfer a petroleum title,

(b) a decision to cancel a petroleum title or to suspend operations under a
petroleum title (in whole or in part),

(c) a decision to restrict operations under a petroleum title by the imposition or variation of conditions of a petroleum title.

(2) To avoid doubt, section 22 (5) extends to the cancellation of (or suspension of operations under) a petroleum title under this section.

(3) This section has effect despite anything to the contrary in this Act.

(4) This section applies to any decision made after the commencement of this
section, including:

(a) a decision with respect to an application or other matter that was pending on that commencement, and

(b) a decision that is based on conduct that occurred, or on a matter that arose, before that commencement.

Mining and Petroleum Legislation Amendment (Public Interest) Bill 2013 here (PDF)

21 November 2013 - The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham welcomed the intervention of Premier O’Farrell who introduced legislation to insert a ‘public interest test’ into the mining and petroleum acts to enhance the power of the minister to cancel or not renew a mining or petroleum licence.

“The Greens welcome the Premier’s intervention to ensure governments can take action in the public interest when it comes to mining and gas licences,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“The mining licences granted under former Minister Macdonald and investigated by ICAC will be likely candidates for cancellation; however, the new public interest test will also potentially apply to other licences.

“The current Acts grant the minister a lot of power to grant licences, but lacks substantial powers to undo mistakes or inappropriate grants of licences – so this new and broad public interest test is a very welcome reform.

“The Greens have called for a review of other licences granted by the former Labor government, and particularly former ministers Obeid and Macdonald.

For example, the Obeid associated mining company ‘Monaro Mining NL’ was granted three other coal exploration licences during the tender process that granted the now infamous Mt Penny exploration licence.

“It is a pity that the public interest did not seem to be a factor when Resources Minister Chris Hartcher renewed 22 petroleum licences in September 2012.

The almost automatic renewal of licences deeply disturbed many communities who believed the initial grant by Labor was inappropriate,” said Mr Buckingham.
 

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