The Resources Regulator is facilitating a statutory review of the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Act 2013 and Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Regulation 2014 (WHS (MPS) laws) during 2020. The Act and regulation can be found on the NSW legislation website.

Why are the WHS (MPS) laws being reviewed?

It has been five years since New South Wales implemented the outcomes from the National Mine Safety Framework and the law says the Act must be reviewed and the regulation is due for automatic repeal.

The current WHS (MPS) laws implemented a new framework to create a single set of mine safety legislation for all mines – coal, metalliferous, extractives and gemstones - and petroleum sites. The WHS (MPS) laws only apply to mines and petroleum sites and form a part of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

What are the terms of reference for the review?

The terms of reference of the review are to:

  1. Examine and report on the operation of the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) laws[1] (WHS (MPS) laws) by considering whether the objectives of the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Act 2013 are valid and whether the terms of the Act remain appropriate for securing those objectives and consider whether:
    1. the WHS (MPS) laws assist in securing the objectives of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 for the protection from harm of workers and other persons on mine and petroleum sites from health and safety risks.
    2. there are any areas of the WHS (MPS) laws that have had unintended outcomes
    3. the WHS (MPS) laws remain consistent with the National Mine Safety Framework principles.
  2. Consider whether the following provisions are appropriate:
    1. the framework of duties to protect workers including safety management systems, principal hazard management plans, control and other plans and specific controls
    2. specific emergency management provisions
    3. worker representation provisions in coal mines
    4. the additional compliance and enforcement measures for a high-hazard industry
    5. licensing, authorisations and statutory functions provisions
    6. Mining and Petroleum Competence Board as an oversight mechanism
    7. Mine Safety Advisory Council in providing advice to the Minister
    8. Boards of Inquiry provisions
    9. notifications required to be provided to the regulator
    10. the framework has facilitated effective interstate regulatory cooperation.
  3. As required by the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Act 2013 (section 77), undertake a review as soon as possible after the period of 5 years from the commencement of the Act to enable the Minister to report on the outcomes of the review tabled in each House of Parliament within 12 months after the period of 5 years.

Who is leading the review?

The Resources Regulator has engaged an independent person, Kym Bills, to lead the review.

Mr Bills has significant experience in high-hazard industries such as offshore petroleum and transport safety where he participated in reviews of safety legislation in those industries. He was the project manager for National Mine Safety Framework providing advice to the Steering Group on implementation. Mr Bills is a Fellow member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Chair of the Board of Fellows for the Australian Institute of Health and Safety and was foundation Executive Director of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau for 10 years.

How can you get involved?

Discussion Paper: Statutory review of WHS (MPS) laws

The public consultation period for the Review of the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Laws will commence on 1 March 2020 until 17 April 2020.

Download the public discussion paper [PDF, 432.67 KB]

To make a submission you can:

  • Complete the feedback form
  • Attend a free, half-day, face-to-face public consultation forum (click on the link below to register for your preferred forum)
    • Week 1:
      • March 10 - Penrith (completed)
      • March 11 - Wagga Wagga (completed)
      • March 12 - Wollongong (completed)
    • Week 2:
      • March 18 - Dubbo (completed)
      • March 19 - Broken Hill (completed)
    • Week 3:
      • March 23 - Muswellbrook (completed)
      • March 24 - Newcastle (completed)
      • March 26 - Coffs Harbour (cancelled due to lack of registrations)
    • Week 4:

Feedback can be submitted via:

  • Mail: Statutory Review of WHS (MPS) laws 2020, Resources Regulator – Regulation Development, PO Box 344, Hunter Region Mail Centre NSW 2310

Submissions close 17 April 2020.

You should speak to people in the organisations that represent you about the review.Information will be provided on this webpage and through Mine Safety News.To be kept up to date subscribe to Mine Safety News now.

If you have any questions about the statutory review, please contact the Manager Regulatory Policy via email or call 1300 814 609

[1] The WHS (MPS) Laws include the WHS (MPS) Act 2013 and the WHS (MPS) Regulation 2014.