NSW confirms aquifer interference policy
The New South Wales Government has confirmed the implementation of new protections being afforded to groundwater aquifers across the state.
State Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, said that the policy will deliver the country’s first clear and objective Aquifer Interference Policy, which will apply to all exploration and extraction activities.
“The new Aquifer Interference Policy protects our aquifers while balancing the water use needs of agriculture, the community, the resources industry and the environment now and into the future,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
Ms Hodgkinson said the policy would help remove the potential for political influence over decisions made by the Gateway Panel and Planning Assessment Commission.
“In a draft release of the Strategic Regional Land Use and Aquifer Interference Policies earlier this year, the Government deliberately sought expert and community feedback via public consultation and the Stakeholder Reference Group,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“Key changes resulting from the consultation process include the statewide application of the Aquifer Interference Policy; the extension of the Policy to all exploration activities; plus removing the ‘exceptional circumstances’ provision that would have allowed Cabinet to override decisions made by the Gateway Panel or the Planning Assessment Commission."
The package of measures which make up the Strategic Regional Land Use Policy, including fact sheets and frequently asked questions are available online at www.nsw.gov.au/strategicregionallanduse