Property owners in NSW will benefit from new mining reforms, which for the first time puts the onus of subsidence damage on coal mine owners.
Previously coal mine operators would pay a levy to a compensation fund to cover subsidence damage, freeing them from any liability, but under the changes to legislation which were passed in parliament, coal mine owners will now be directly accountable.
“The reforms make coal miners financially and socially accountable for the damage caused by their operations,” Property Minister Victor Dominello said in a statement on Tuesday.
The peak regulatory body for mine subsidence compensation in NSW, Subsidence Advisory NSW, will establish a new case management system where individual case managers are assigned to property owners to ensure they are treated fairly during the compensation process.
A panel of independent experts will assess all claims and strict time frames will apply to process claims and compensate affected property owners.
SA NSW will have the power to initiate disciplinary action against coal mine operators that are not doing the right thing by claimants, making it a fairer system that benefits property owners, Mr Dominello said.