Underground Coal Mining Areas

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Underground Coal Mining Area spatial layer

Subsidence Advisory NSW has published a new ‘Underground Coal Mining Area’ spatial layer on the NSW Planning Portal to make it easier for the public to access information about underground coal mining.

The new spatial layer provides property owners and purchasers with a quick and easy tool to find out if a property is in an area where underground coal mining has occurred, ensuring people are better informed about potential subsidence risks.

The spatial layer has been created based on the official Mine Survey Plans held by the NSW Resources Regulator within the Department of Planning, Industry & Environment.

Disclaimer

The underground coal mine geospatial data on the NSW Planning Portal has been created by Subsidence Advisory NSW, based on the confidential information held by the Resources Regulator within the NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment.

In no event shall Subsidence Advisory NSW become liable to users of this geospatial data. No warranty is expressed or can be implied to any other person as to the accuracy, currency and completeness of the said data or that it is free from any error or omission. Accordingly the State of New South Wales, Subsidence Advisory NSW and their servants and agents expressly disclaim any liability whatsoever for the consequences arising from any act done
or omission made in reliance by others on the information contained within the NSW Planning Portal.

The information shown herein is a general representation of features and must not be used for the basis of any risk assessment purpose. The location of the underground coal mine workings must be independently verified by the portal user.

To ensure that appropriate documentation and data limitations are provided, this database cannot be redistributed to any other parties.

How to find out if a property is in an area where underground coal mining has occurred via the NSW Planning Portal

To find out if a property is within an Underground Coal Mining Area please follow the below steps:

1. Visit the NSW Planning Portal eSpatial Viewer

2. Search for the property by street address or Lot and DP

3. If a property is within an Underground Coal Mining Area, the layer will display under ‘Search Results’ on the right hand side of the eSpatial Viewer.

The layer can also be turned on by clicking ‘Planning Layers’ in the left-hand side navigation bar, then selecting ‘Subsidence Advisory NSW’ and then ‘Underground Coal Mining Area’.

Note: Details of whether a property is within an Underground Coal Mining Area are not included in the Property Report available for download.

Frequently asked questions
1. How did Subsidence Advisory NSW create the Underground Coal Mining Area spatial layer?

Subsidence Advisory NSW has created the Underground Coal Mining Area spatial layer based on the official Mine Survey Plans held by the NSW Resources Regulator within the NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment.

The spatial layer includes properties that are located above or in close proximity to underground coal mine workings. As some underground coal mining in NSW took place over 100 years ago, it is possible that there are discrepancies between the position of mine workings and where they are shown on the official Survey Plans. To account for slight discrepancies, the Underground Coal Mining Areas include a buffer zone around historical mine workings.

The underground mining areas only relate to areas where coal has been extracted and do not include other types of mining such as metalliferous or open cut coal extraction.

2. My property is within an Underground Coal Mining Area. Should I be concerned about safety or property damage?

Just because a property is mined beneath does not mean it will be impacted by subsidence. Subsidence Advisory NSW’s records indicate that in the last 10 years less than 2% of properties located in areas where underground coal mining has occurred have been impacted by subsidence.

Typically, mine subsidence occurs unnoticeably over a period of time as the ground beneath settles. Buildings damaged by subsidence generally remain safe and people can continue to occupy them until their claim is resolved and the property is repaired.

In rare situations, subsidence caused by historical mining at a shallow depth can result in a hole in the surface of the ground. Subsidence holes can be big or small but they can all be dangerous and must be treated with caution. Subsidence holes and other types of safety, security or serviceability concerns arising from subsidence should be reported immediately to Subsidence Advisory NSW’s 24 Hour Emergency Hotline on 1800 248 083. Subsidence Advisory NSW will coordinate a response and ensure the issue is promptly addressed.

Subsidence Advisory NSW is making information on areas where underground coal mining has occurred publicly available to ensure property owners are informed and can recognise the signs of subsidence in the extremely unlikely case their property is impacted.

3. Why don’t Mine Subsidence Districts cover all underground coal mining areas?

A mine subsidence district is a tool used by Subsidence Advisory NSW to help protect homes and other structures from potential mine subsidence damage through regulation of development. All development within mine subsidence districts requires Subsidence
Advisory NSW approval.

Not all underground coal mining presents the risk of subsidence damage to development. As a result, there are some areas where mining has occurred that Subsidence Advisory NSW does not consider necessary to proclaim within districts. These areas include those where:

• there is limited development

• the underground mining is unlikely to create subsidence risks

• the method used to extract coal means there are unlikely to be any ongoing subsidence risks.

All homes and buildings in NSW, irrespective of whether they are located within a mine subsidence district, are eligible for compensation if they are damaged by mine subsidence provided applicable approvals have been met.

4. How do I make a claim for mine subsidence damage?

If a home or structure has been damaged by mine subsidence, the property owner can lodge a claim for compensation with Subsidence Advisory NSW. Lodge a claim or find out more about subsidence damage at www.subsidenceadvisory.nsw.gov.au/claims.

5. Why are some properties shown as within an underground mining area when they are not directly above underground mine workings?

The underground mining areas provide a general indication of areas where underground coal mining has occurred in NSW. It does not mean that all properties within the identified area have been directly mined beneath.

As underground coal mining has occurred in NSW for over 100 years, it is possible for the position of old mine workings to differ slightly from that shown on the Mine Survey Plans. To account for possible discrepancies in the position of old mine workings, the Underground Coal Mining Areas include a buffer zone around historical mine workings.

Properties within this buffer zone will show as within an Underground Coal Mining Area despite not shown as directly mined beneath on the official Survey Plans held by the NSW Resources Regulator within the Department of Planning, Industry & Environment.

6. Why are some properties within a mine subsidence district but not within an underground mining area?

Some mine subsidence districts are declared in areas where underground coal mining may occur in the future. The underground mining areas on the NSW Planning Portal only show areas where coal extraction has already occurred.

All potential mines are considered by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment and need to go through a rigorous approval process before mining can occur.

7. How can I access the official mine Survey Plans?

The NSW Resources Regulator within the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is the official holder of Mine Survey Plans in NSW.

Under clause 127(3) of the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Regulation 2014, the Resources Regulator can only make a copy of a survey plan to a person in certain circumstances. To find out more or make an application for copies of survey plans, please visit the NSW Resources Regulator website. Generally, these records are not available to the public.

8. Does the Underground Coal Mining Area spatial layer include areas where mining is planned in the future?

No. The Underground Coal Mining Areas on the NSW Planning Portal do not include areas where coal mining is planned in the future. The layer only shows areas where coal extraction has occurred.

Subsidence Advisory NSW updates the underground mining areas approximately every three months based on official mine record tracings provided by the NSW Resources Regulator within the NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment.

9. How often are the Underground Coal Mining Areas on the NSW Planning Portal updated?

Subsidence Advisory NSW updates the underground mining areas on the NSW Planning Portal approximately every three months based on official records provided by the NSW Resources Regulator within the Department of Planning, Industry & Environment.

10. Does underground coal mining activity in an area impact property values?

There are many areas in NSW where the presence of underground mining is well known and there is high demand for property.

Subsidence Advisory NSW provides a fair, efficient and sustainable compensation scheme for dealing with the impacts of coal mine subsidence to protect the value of property and safety of the community. For example, Newcastle has a long history of successfully managing subsidence risks while maintaining a vibrant property market.

Areas where there are potential subsidence risks to development are included within a mine subsidence district so Subsidence Advisory NSW can help prevent damage and reduce the impact on property owners should subsidence occur.

11. Where can I find out more?

For further information please contact Subsidence Advisory NSW on (02) 4908 4300 or at subsidenceadvisory@customerservice.nsw.gov.au.