The Department is responsible for the oversight of legislative requirements for licensing of certain pipelines under the Pipelines Act 1967 within the state of New South Wales.

Predominantly these pipelines convey oil, gas and petroleum and the Department oversees the safety and integrity of the pipelines once they are licensed.

The Pipelines Act 1967 aims to:

  • implement a timely and efficient approvals system to facilitate the construction of cross-country transmission pipelines in New South Wales;
  • ensure the effect of a pipeline project commenced under the Act on the environment, landowners and native titleholders is properly considered and managed;
  • ensure pipeline licensees protect the environment, pipeline employees and the public from dangers arising from both pipeline construction and the transmission of potentially hazardous substances.

Under the Pipelines Act 1967, any person who wishes to construct and operate a pipeline for the purposes of any substance, can do so under an authorisation or Licence.

Requirements of the Act and associated Regulations must be met in all respects.

Not all pipelines are required to be licensed and these include, but are not limited to:

  • a pipeline constructed or to be constructed under another Act, such as the Gas Supply Act 1996, or the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991;
  • a pipeline constructed or to be constructed by a public authority;
  • pipeline constructed or to be constructed situated wholly within the boundaries of land and designed for use solely for the residential, business, commercial or industrial purposes carried out on that land;
  • a pipeline constructed or to be constructed for the purpose of the supply of water (including for irrigation), the drainage of land or the conveyance of waste water, mine water, aqueous slurries of minerals, mineral concentrates or mineral tailings;
  • a pipeline of the prescribed class constructed or to be constructed for the conveyance of dangerous goods within the meaning of the Road and Rail Transport (Dangerous Goods) Act 1997;
  • a pipeline constructed or to be constructed for returning petroleum to a natural reservoir, conveying petroleum for use for the purposes of petroleum exploration operations or operations for the recovery of petroleum, or for conveying petroleum that is to be flared or vented;
  • any pipeline so determined by the Minister for Energy not to be a pipeline as prescribed under the Pipelines Act 1967.

Under the Pipelines Regulation 2013, all pipeline operators must develop and implement a Pipeline Management Plan, which is then used to monitor the ongoing performance of the pipeline operator.

In this section

  • Safety - Find out what the regulations are for pipeline safety in NSW
  • Incident reporting - Check out our guidelines about how to report and act on an emergency, injury or accident
  • Pipelines performance - Download annual pipeline performance reports and reporting templates

Related information

  • Pipeline licensing process - The NSW Government licenses the construction and operation of cross-country transmission pipelines under the NSW Pipelines Act 1967.
  • Section 5E of the Pipelines Act 1967 enables a pipeline proponent to apply to The Minister for an Authority to Survey (ATS) before applying for a pipeline licence.  An ATS was granted to APA for the Western Slopes Pipeline Project.

    An Authority to Survey is a permit to enter private lands – with strict conditions, to assess the best route for the final pipeline alignment and to assess environmental impacts etc. It also permits the taking of soil or plant samples to meet environmental requirements prior to pipeline construction.

    The ATS is meant to be used as a last resort to enable access to lands. If a landowner refuses entry to the holder of the ATS the holder may seek assistance from a local police officer. However if the holder of the ATS fails to comply with the conditions the Minister can cancel the ATS under section 5G(3) of the Act.

  • Protecting underground energy assets - All licenced pipeline operators must have a 'one-call system' to provide information on the precise location of pipelines. It is an offence to work near an underground pipeline without contacting the pipeline operator prior to beginning work.