What are statutory functions?

A statutory function is a job or duty that is determined by a law or rule. In the NSW mining industry, statutory functions are identified under Schedule 10 of the WHS (Mines) Regulation 2014.

Different classes of mines have different statutory functions. For example, some are specific to underground coal mines. Only people meeting defined requirements are eligible to be nominated by the mine operator to perform a statutory function.

How many people can hold each statutory function?

Some functions can be held by multiple people at the mine at the same time. For example, there may be several mechanical tradespersons at an underground coal mine. However, some functions, known as key statutory functions, can only be held by one person at any one time. This is to ensure there are clear lines of authority on critical matters and there is no confusion, inconsistency or conflict in approach.

Can a person hold more than one statutory function?

A person can perform more than one statutory function and can hold functions at more than one mine. For example, a person could be a quarry manager for several quarries. However, the person must also be readily available to exercise and be capable of exercising the statutory function. This means a mine operator couldn't nominate someone to be a quarry manager to manage multiple quarries if they involve so much work or are so far apart that the manager can't be readily available to exercise functions at each quarry.

What are the mine operator's obligations in relation to statutory functions?

The mine operator must ensure that:

  • no-one perform a statutory function at the mine unless they meet the requirements for that function
  • the person nominated to perform a statutory function is readily available to perform, and is capable of performing, the statutory function.

Only one person can be nominated to hold a key statutory function at any time. 

No mining activities are to be undertaken if the mine operator has not nominated a person to hold a key statutory function which is vacant for 7 days or more.

Operators of coal mines must notify the regulator if the person nominated to hold any statutory functions changes.

To do this they must submit a Notification of reportable events form.

What are the obligations on a person nominated to exercise a statutory function?

A person nominated to hold a statutory function at a mine must, as soon as is reasonably practicable, inform the mine operator of any matter that may interfere with the individual's ability to perform the statutory function. For example, if a practising certificate is suspended or cancelled.

How do I become eligible to hold a statutory function?

You need to hold the relevant practising certificate, certificate of competence or other requirement for nomination. See our certificates of competence page for more information.

Further information

Read this guide on statutory functions