AFTER consultation with communities and industry around the state, a review of South Australia’s mining laws has recommended improvements to transparency and communication of mining activity and landowner compensation.
Four consultation meetings were held on Eyre Peninsula at the beginning of the year at Ceduna, Wudinna, Cummins and Port Lincoln.
More than 130 written submissions from landowners, mine operators and peak representative bodies, like Grain Producers South Australia, were made to the review.
The key issues raised in submissions were the access and exempt land issues, the importance of mining to the development of the state, issues relating to mining leases and Programs for Environment Protection and Rehabilitation (PEPR) rehabilitation, access to information and transparency, the importance of an independent regulator, landowner compensation and clear policies on leases and licences.
Jennifer Sampson of Warramboo wrote a submission to the review and said South Australia should demonstrate its high regard for farmers by committing to support and defend agricultural land.
In her submission Mrs Sampson said there should be a complete review of the Mining Act 1971, which needed a reworking of the definition of what land was available for, or protected from mining.
Other recommendations included an extension of the 21 day Notice of Entry timeframe, the Programme for Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation being freely available before exploration and mining begins and Social Impact Assessments acknowledging all directly or indirectly impacted by a mining operation.
“The often quoted figure of somewhere less than five per cent of the state being arable land needs to be at the forefront of our minds when considering future planning and development of our state.”
Member for Flinders Peter Treloar said he believed an “absolute definition” on exempt land was vital, as was how financial institutions considered land that fell under a mining lease.