The Mining and Petroleum Gateway Panel (the Panel) is an independent body constituted under the Mining SEPP. It was established on 4 October 2013. More information on members and their areas of expertise can be found here.
The Panel is one of the key elements of the NSW Government's Strategic Regional Land Use Policy, a suite of initiatives to better protect the State's agricultural and water resources from the potential impacts of mining and coal seam gas activities.
The principal role of the Panel is to assess the agricultural impacts of State significant mining or coal seam gas (CSG) proposals located on Strategic Agricultural Land before a development application is lodged. These assessments are conducted against targeted scientific criteria relating to agricultural and water impacts.
When the project is located on biophysical strategic agricultural land, the project must also be referred to the Minister for Primary Industries for advice on the project's impacts under the Aquifer Interference Policy, and to the Commonwealth Independent Expert Scientific Committee for advice on potential impacts on water resources.
Following each assessment, the Panel can issue two types of Gateway Certificate – a certificate which confirms the proposal meets the scientific criteria or a conditional certificate which may include recommendations such as further studies or modifications to the project.
Once the applicant has a Gateway certificate they can proceed with a development application. The development application will then be subject to a full merit assessment under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979.
The Panel can also provide advice on request by the Minister or Director-General of Planning & Environment on the potential agricultural and water impacts of mining or CSG production proposals for which a development application or modification application has been lodged, or environmental assessment requirements are being prepared.
The Panel can also provide input on the Director General's Requirements for projects where the time limit for issuing a Gateway Certificate has lapsed.
The Gateway process is an upfront, strictly scientific assessment. As such, there is no public consultation at this stage of the process.
Any advice from the Minister for Primary Industries and the Commonwealth Independent Expert Scientific Committee on a particular project will be available for the public to view on this website, together with the Gateway Panel's advice on the proposal.
If a project proceeds to the development application stage, the application will be publicly exhibited for a minimum of 30 days on the Department of Planning & Environment's website, which will enable comprehensive public consultation before any proposal can be determined.