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Public comment on new coal and petroleum titles

Important: this public comment process only applies to exploration for coal and petroleum.

The NSW government recognises the potential impacts that exploration, mining and production can have on nearby communities. As a result, the government provides communities with the opportunity to submit feedback about proposed exploration activities.

The Public comment process for the exploration of coal and petroleum (PDF, 498.88 KB) improves the transparency, efficiency and effectiveness of the government's decision-making process for exploration licence applications. It also assists in gathering relevant local information and in the development of more robust processes to protect the environment.

The purpose of this process is to ensure that the interests of the state are balanced by the interests of the community directly affected by exploration activities.

The role of the public comment process in relation to exploration licences is to:

  • inform the community that an application for the grant of a new exploration licence has been lodged and provide a description of the activities that may be carried out as part of the proposed exploration program; and
  • enable members of the community to raise issues that should be taken into consideration when determining whether certain exploration activities should be carried out, or the conditions that should apply to any approved activities.

Given that exploration is focused on the identification and economic assessment of a mineral deposit and that further approvals (including preparation of a detailed Environmental Impact Statement where future mining or production does not already have planning approval) are required before any mining or petroleum production can be carried out, public comment will only be sought on matters relating to the effects of the exploration process.

The public comment process aims to minimise, or where possible avoid, potential impacts on a community. There are further public comment frameworks within the planning approval process under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Preparing your submission

For information about what to include in your submission and how submissions are used, read the Public Comment Process (PDF, 498.88 KB).

How to submit your public comment

Email Please include your name, address, and the exploration licence application number, as required by the Public Comment Process guide, and outline your submission.

Past public comment responses

Response to public comments by both the applicant and the department may be published in line with the Public Comment Guideline. The responses are made available for 12 months once published.