The NSW Government licenses the construction and operation of cross-country transmission pipelines under the NSW Pipelines Act 1967.

Licensing process 

The licensing process is as follows:

Stage 1: Authority to Survey (Optional)

  • Granted by the Minister for Resources and Energy.
  • Allows access to lands to investigate pipeline routes.
  • Subject to conditions.

Stage 2: Licence

  • Approval under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 required prior to licensing.
  • Licence granted by the Minister for Resources and Energy.
    • Subject to conditions including environmental and planning approval conditions.
  • Allows construction of the pipeline within the licence area.
  • Licence may be varied by application to the Minister for Resources and Energy.

Stage 3: Consent to Operate

  • Granted by the Minister for Energy if satisfied pipeline is fit for its purpose and can be operated safely.
  • Subject to conditions.

Conveyancing

The Department's role is to add and delete parcels of land affected by either pipeline licences and licence applications or easements for pipelines, from the Land and Property Information's Central Register of Restrictions Database.

We also receive applications from interested parties to search for pipelines on parcels of land in NSW, to find out if land is, or will be, affected by pipelines in the future.

Environmental management

Pipelines licensed under the Pipelines Act 1967 are subject to environmental assessment in accordance with Part 4 or Part 5.1 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 prior to licensing (Department of Planning).

Based on the outcomes of the environmental assessment the pipeline licensee is normally required to develop and implement an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for the construction and operation of the pipeline.

Although a stand alone document, the EMP forms part of the pipeline licensees safety management system and is integrated in to the Pipeline Management Plan.