Here are the highlights of what you can expect as the program rolls out:

  • streamlined and improved enforceability, with an Annual Rehabilitation Report and Program and better maintenance of compliance records
  • minimised delays through more accurate calculation of security deposits and review of deposit collection
  • a new Rehabilitation Assessment Protocol (RAP) to improve the Department of Planning and Environment, Division of Resources and Geoscience’s (the Division) rehabilitation governance processes and regulatory oversight
  • a Rehabilitation Performance Dashboard and online e-mapping tools to identify industry best practice.

Mining operators to assist in rehabilitation

All mining operators will be required to develop a Rehabilitation Management Plan (RMP) to demonstrate how rehabilitation will be managed at a given site. Guidelines will assist industry in determining the level of detail required at each stage of a mining operation (with each title holder required to publish the RMP on its website).

The RMP will include:

  • rehabilitation outcomes to be achieved, including requirements set out under other regulatory instruments
  • description of risks and opportunities and associated controls that will be implemented to achieve sustainable rehabilitation outcomes
  • details of a title holder’s quality assurance processes during each phase of rehabilitation throughout the life of a mining operation
  • description of rehabilitation monitoring and research programs
  • the current requirement to submit a Mining Operations Plan for approval will be removed, and the Division’s regulatory oversight will focus on performance and compliance of progressive and acceptable rehabilitation through RAP.

Online dashboard and e-mapping tools

The Rehabilitation Performance Dashboard will identify areas of best practice for knowledge transfer across industry as well as areas where regulatory efforts are required to improve rehabilitation performance and compliance.

An online mapping tool, the Rehabilitation Geographic Information System(GIS), is an Australian first that will assist mining companies and ESU officers to accurately record and track areas of disturbance and rehabilitation progress at each site.

Rehabilitation maps illustrating the extent of mine disturbance and progressive rehabilitation will be available to the public through this online portal to demonstrate government transparency, ensuring the people of NSW are fully aware of the progressive rehabilitation underway.

Global Information System (GIS) Portal Project

Mining companies will soon find the process of analysing, and reporting on, the progress of their rehabilitation activities more streamlined, thanks to a new system being developed known as the Rehabilitation Global Information System (GIS) Portal Project. This project is part of the Division’s Rehabilitation Reform Project which is being developed concurrently.

The new online portal will make the collection of GIS data more efficient and will assist mining companies and the Division to accurately record and track areas of disturbance and rehabilitation progress across individual sites.

Once complete, the portal will allow mining companies to more efficiently report on the progress of rehabilitation activities. Not only will this speed up the reporting process, but it will also allow users to review and analyse the submitted data using the portal tool functions. The collected data will also assist the Division when undertaking compliance activities.

To foster community understanding on mine rehabilitation activities across state, it is also proposed that the rehabilitation status data be made available for viewing by the community through the (Sharing and Enabling Environment Data) SEED portal.

As part of the initial design and development phase of the project, the Division engaged approximately 70 NSW mines - chosen based on the size of their rehabilitation activities and the likelihood they already had GIS information – requesting they submit their GIS data to help us build a background dataset for the project.

All mines across NSW will be consulted to help us know how to develop and implement this system in the best way possible. We anticipate rolling it out in 2018, so check our website and eNewsletters for updates.

Stay informed

Throughout 2017 and into early 2018, the Division’s Environmental Sustainability Unit will hold a series of Industry Workshops to further outline changes and RRP implementation dates.

For all Rehabilitation Reform Project enquires please contact the Environmental Sustainability Unit 02 4931 6605 or

Related Reforms

Proposals to improve the rehabilitation framework for major mining projects are currently on exhibition. For more information and to make a submission, go to the Department of Planning and Environment website. Submissions will close on 16 February 2018.

Feedback received will be used to inform the development of new policy and actions to improve rehabilitation and post mining land use outcomes for major mining projects.