ICAC revelations highlight ‘a wider malaise’

The Independent Commission Against Corruption hearings into the issuing of coal exploration licences by the former Labor government havehighlighted major deficiencies in the way mineral resources have been managed in NSW, according to the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.

NCC campaigns director Kate Smolski said the examination of potential corruption in the awarding of coal exploration licences had highlighted the need to thoroughly overhaul the system by which the state deals with the assessment and approval of mining and gas projects.

‘A lack of transparency is one of the reasons that corruption has been able to flourish and it is one of the central flaws in the whole system,’ Ms Smolski said.

‘We have had weeks of revelations in ICAC hearings of serious malfeasance and fundamental flaws in the system of planning assessment and approvals for major projects in this state.

‘This has just scratched the surface of long-term and significant problems with the process.

‘Premier Barry Mr O’Farrell has inherited this broken system and it now falls to him to fix it. The government must put in place a transparent system that allows for thorough, timely public scrutiny and input into proposed projects that will affect the land, water and communities of New South Wales.’

Ms Smolski said the government must set in train a process that will ensure independent and rigorous assessment of mining and gas projects and a transparent and accountable process throughout the planning and licensing process.

She said proposed changes to the Mining State Environmental Planning Policy did little to address the system’s main deficiencies.

‘The proposed changes simply build upon an inadequate system that has permitted unchecked expansion of mining and gas,’ Ms Smolski said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers.