The decision by NSW Minister for Resources John Barilaro to take action on scope 3 emissions and provide certainty for minerals industry project approvals is welcome news for the industry and NSW regional communities.
Regulatory creep and overreach – including the use of regulation by unelected bodies to block mining projects and the jobs and prosperity they bring to regional communities – is a serious concern in the regulation of the minerals sector across Australia.
The MCA has previously urged the NSW Government to take action on this important issue. In August, the MCA made a submission to the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) on the United Wambo project which stated that to safeguard the credibility of project approval processes, the IPC should not impose conditions relating to scope 3 emissions on mining project approvals.
In the submission, the MCA stated that the creation of arbitrary conditions on exports and a proposal to require the management of the emissions of foreign sovereign nations – as advanced by the IPC – would both undermine good management of Australia's exports and the operation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Nations have agreed to take responsibility for national emissions, and it is neither practical nor plausible for a state government agency to determine or manage the responses of other nations.
The NSW Government has listened to the concerns of the minerals industry and NSW regional communities, and the MCA looks forward to the provisions announced by Mr Barilaro becoming law.