The extractive industries encompass the extraction or removal of stone from land for sale or commercial use in construction, building, road or manufacturing works. Before land can be developed for these operations, a work plan must be statutorily endorsed under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (subject to certain exemptions) and, where required, a planning permit approved.
The draft guideline for preparation of a work plan and work plan variation (draft guideline) provides information on how to meet relevant requirements under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 and associated regulations. It includes information on when a work plan or variation is required, what content is required, and the steps for seeking approval. Information is also included on administrative updates and consolidating or modernising work plans.
The draft guideline has been prepared in consultation with industry, and in response to recommendations to improve the first version of the guideline published in 2018. The changes to the work plan guidelines include:
- restructuring of the document to reduce repetition and improve navigation
- changes to reflect the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) (Extractive Industries) Regulations 2019
- renaming ‘notifications’ to ‘administrative update’, and adding examples, submission templates and a flow chart of the administrative update process
- additional information on the roles of co-regulators
- enhanced the risk assessment guidance by updating templates, consolidating the consequence table and risk register, and adding risk process flow chart.
Feedback is now sought on the draft guideline to assess the effectiveness of the updates made to the guideline and to further improve the information provided to industry on their requirements in relation to preparing and varying a work plan and associated processes.
It should also be noted that following this consultation, similar updates will be made to the work plan guidelines for the mining industry and for exploration and also subject to consultation. Additionally, related guidelines on requirements relating to geotechnical, blasting and rehabilitation requirements are at various stages of preparation.