The Mine Subsidence Board (MSB) is responsible for administering the Mine Subsidence Compensation Act 1961 (the Act). It has three primary functions:
- To provide compensation where surface developments are damaged by mine subsidence following extraction of coal or shale in NSW
- To control surface development within Mine Subsidence Districts to minimise liabilities arising from mine subsidence
- To manage risk associated with mine subsidence including public awareness of mine subsidence.
Proposed Changes to the Mine Subsidence Compensation Act 1961
The Department of Finance, Services and Innovation has completed a review of the Mine Subsidence Compensation Act 1961 (the Act) and its administration. Changes to the Act are proposed to make the mine subsidence compensation process easier for property owners to navigate, and to provide a more equitable model for mining operators.
The proposed changes will require mining operators to directly compensate property owners for subsidence damage that they cause. The Mine Subsidence Board (MSB) will no longer process claims for subsidence damage arising from active mines, but will provide case managers to oversee claims and ensure property owners are treated fairly.
Under the proposed changes, property owners will lodge claims online via a new claims portal. Claims will be independently assessed by a new panel of assessors, and miners will be required to compensate property owners accordingly. Mining operators will be required to comply with guidelines on claims handling and processing to ensure that claimants are treated fairly. New dispute resolution pathways will provide claimants with access to independent determination without having to resort to costly litigation, as is currently the case.
Mining operators will pay a reduced levy to compensate for the impacts of subsidence damage from abandoned mines. The MSB will continue to process claims for damage to property arising from abandoned mines.
The MSB will be repositioned as Subsidence Advisory NSW tasked with providing advocacy and support to local communities affected by subsidence, and case managers will be on hand to guide claimants through the new process.
Q&As on the changes proposed to the mine subsidence framework are provided here.
Find out more
Targeted consultation with industry and local government will occur over the following months.
Community information sessions are being held across NSW in February 2017 to provide community members with the opportunity to meet with officers from Subsidence Advisory NSW and understand the proposals in detail.